Chocolate lovers are in luck, and we have to add another benefit to its positive effects on health. If we already had good reasons to consume it, now it seems that eating chocolate could make us smarter, according to a recent study published in the journal Appetite. Research has wanted to go beyond the benefits of chocolate in the cardiovascular system to delve into the possible neurocognitive effects.
According to the conclusions of the study, habitual consumption of chocolate would be associated with better cognitive performance, independently of any other type of dietary habits. These are results obtained from the data of a previous study focused on residents of Syracuse, New York, focused on measuring cardiovascular risk from diet. Participants also responded to a series of tests and exams to measure cognitive functions.
In this work, developed by researchers from the University of Maine in the United States, the University of South Australia and the Luxembourg Institute of Health, have been carried out cross-sectional analysis of the information collected from 968 participants, aged between 23 and 98 years. It was found that those who ate chocolate on a regular basis showed better results in neuropsychological tests.
A higher consumption of chocolate was significantly related to better cognitive performance in fields such as abstract reasoning, working memory, spatial visual memory or organizational tasks. The researchers conclude in this way that cocoa flavonoids could protect the brain from the natural loss of cognitive functions associated with age, thus helping to avoid possible degenerative diseases.
More research focused on this area is needed to thoroughly explore the relationships between cocoa flavonoids, chocolate consumption and their effects on the brain, but the first results are promising. They might even have medical applications in the future, but in the meantime It is a good excuse for chocolatiers to know that eating chocolate could make us smarter. In any case, remember that you better enjoy it always in moderation and betting on chocolate the more black and pure, the better.
Photos | Tim Sackton, Jan Krutisch
More information | Science Direct
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