Monthly Archives: May 2011

Dark Chocolate May Boost Vision & Brain Function

New research has given you more reason to reach into your box of dark chocolates — powering vision and brain performance as early as two-and-one-half hours after eating them!

If the taste and the cardiovascular benefits weren’t temptation enough, a new study published in Physiology & Behavior shows consumption of antioxidants in dark chocolate, called cocoa flavanols (CF), improves visual and cognitive function in young adults.

Eating dark chocolate can improve visual and brain function, a study suggests.

Researchers from the Universityof Readingtested the effects of cocoa on memory and reaction time. “The results of the current study demonstrate for the first time that performance on tests of visual system function in healthy young adults can be improved by the acute consumption of CF”, they reported.

This new study adds to the mountain of data supporting chocolate as a cornerstone in health-minded dietary indulgence. The researchers randomized 30 participants into two groups. One group received 35 grams of dark chocolate during the first week; the other received a white chocolate placebo. The authors switched the intervention that the subjects received during the second week and they administered the same cognitive and ocular exams.

The researchers reported that the results of this randomized, single-blinded, crossover design demonstrated “for the first time performance on tests of visual system function in healthy young adults can be improved by the acute consumption of CF.”

It is likely, the authors deemed, that the “flavonoids are able to influence the function of retinal neurons.” In other words, the potent plant compounds concentrated in cocoa may increase blood flow, particularly to the eye. This increase in blood flow, they suggest, supplies the conductive elements of the brain with the nutrients necessary to optimize function.

Although the study was conducted in young people, the authors suggest that the benefits of cocoa may be more dramatic in elderly persons. The improvements in visual function were primarily observed as contrast sensitivity (CS)—the subjects’ ability to distinguish figures from their backgrounds. Older adults, the authors suggest, “experience a considerable decline in CS,” which may be mitigated by the increased blood flow to the retina and visual cortex observed in groups receiving the cocoa flavanols.

Dark chocolate can also support your brain and body’s defenses against oxidative stress.

Whether you gain improved nerve function, more blood flow, additional antioxidant protection or simply the sheer delight of a piece of chocolate melting on your tongue, dark chocolate is sure to have a benefit for everyone.

Just make sure to choose the right kind—one that is created through minimal heat processing and delivers a high antioxidant value to provide your body with maximum antioxidant benefit.

Reference: Field DT et al. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions. Physiology & Behavior 103 (3-4): 255-60. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.02.013

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The Body Bar FLEX ‘FIT 15 for KIDS’ Workout

Great exercises your kids can do during those lazy, crazy days of summer…

so those days aren’t so lazy!


To paraphrase Alice Cooper, school is definitely out for summer.  And, Body Bar offers an exercise program your kids can do, which is fun and gives them a wonderful workout.

The Body Bar FLEX FIT 15 for KIDS program uses safe, effective, integrated movement exercises –involving compound movements which work more than one muscle group at a time– to deliver specific stretching, strengthening, and core conditioning.

The Body Bar FLEX variable resistance bar is a unique fitness device, ideal for developing functional strength, flexibility, and endurance for total body conditioning.  Lightweight and portable, with a soft, easy-grip rubber sheathing, it can be used to stretch and strengthen the entire body!

At 48-inches long, and weighing just a little over a pound, the Body Bar FLEX can be taken anywhere.  And the FIT 15 for KIDS exercises can be performed virtually anywhere:  at home, out in the yard, at the club or community center, even the swimming pool – yes, it floats!

What teachers and fitness professionals are saying about the Body Bar FLEX and the FIT 15 for KIDS workout:

“I love working with the Body Bar FLEX.  It allows me to move creatively in a variety of directions, fully integrating aspects of strength and flexibility, through a diverse range of motion.  I have found it great fun when working with all populations, from light-hearted kids to focus-minded adults!”

“The majority of the students that I teach display weak muscle strength in their upper bodies, therefore making it difficult to engage in push-ups, arm hangs, and other skills that require lifting and pushing.  The FIT 15 provides an answer to the task of increasing their upper body strength.

“The Body Bar FLEX can be used by virtually anyone, because it weighs so little, but you can still develop strength with it.  Kids can use it in a fun, playful way to develop functional skills.  Athletes use it in sports-specific ways, to develop strength and dynamic mobility.   And Seniors can use it to develop strength without weight, which is a critical functionality as we age.”

 The Body Bar FLEX FIT 15 for KIDS exercises provide kids with a safe, efficient, effective, and compelling workout that focuses on low impact, total body conditioning which is based on sound fitness methodology.  They offer students an exercise program that draws from many modalities; including yoga, dance, Pilates, and physical therapy training.   


Get your kids started today!


Visit to order the Body Bar FLEX

and get a free FIT 15 for KIDS  wall chart 

The Body Bar Summer Show Schedule!

Body Bar is excited to be participating in the following Fitness Shows this summer:

AAAI/ISMA ‘One World’ Fitness Certification and Educational Conference – Atlantic City, New Jersey.  June 3-5.  The Atlantic City Convention Center.

DCAC Fitness Convention – Washington DC.  August 3-7.  The Hyatt Regency,Reston,VA.

Savier Fit Fest Fitness Conference – San Jose, California.  September 16-17.  The Club One Silver Creek Sportsplex.

Come join us!  And participate in great new Body Bar presentations by Sherry Catlin, Leslee Bender, Keli Roberts, and others!


Visit to learn more about Body Bar products.

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