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Eating Chocolate Can Actually Make You Smarter
06 June 2016
In a new study published in the journal Appetite, researchers analyzed data from a Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) in which nearly 1,000 people between 23 and 98 years old were measured for dietary intake, cardiovascular risks, and cognitive function. From this information and a second, more specific analysis, they discovered that eating chocolate on a regular basis correlates to better cognitive brain function—including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills among other improved performances.
hese positive effects are thanks to cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of flavonoids that are found in chocolate. High levels of flavanols are found in dark chocolate (about 30 to 70 percent cocoa), not so much in milk chocolate (7 to 15 percent cocoa). Though if you aren't a fan of deliciously bitter dark chocolate, you can still score concentrated flavanols in grapes, apples, and even red wine.
What's more, the researchers noted that their findings were supported by recent clinical trials in which regular intake of cocoa flavanols specifically could "possibly protect against normal age-related cognitive decline."
Unfortunately, the study solely took into account how many times per day the individuals consumed chocolate, not at what quantity. So it seems we'll have to wait on future research to determine both how much to eat during and which types of chocolate are best for our snacking sessions in order to reap the most benefits.