Chocolate lovers, rejoice! If the sweet treat wasn’t already good enough, new research has found that chocolate can make you smarter.
The research, published in Science Direct‘s, Appetite, found that frequent chocolate consumption is positively associated with cognitive performance. It was the first cohort study to examine the link between chocolate and brain function.
To determine this connection, researchers tracked a group of central New York residents for four decades, gathering information on their diet and how frequently they consumed certain foods.
They were then given tests to measure cognitive function, including visual-spatial memory and organization, scanning and tracking, verbal episodic memory, and working memory.
Through this analysis, they found that people who ate chocolate performed better on these tests, regardless of the other foods they ate and even when accounting for participants’ cardiovascular risk factors. They also tested to see if cognitive function predicted a preference for chocolate, but they found no association.
In this particular study, researchers did not set out to specify whether participants where consuming white, milk, or dark chocolate, so they can’t concretely state which type of chocolate can best boost your brain performance.
This particular study also did not measure exactly how much chocolate you should consume a day to reap these cognitive benefits, although some experts recommend consuming a 1.6 ounce bar of chocolate per day.
In addition to making you smarter, chocolate has a variety of other benefits. Research has shown that dark chocolate can lower your cholesterol, help protect against UV rays, lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and even boost your mood.
Most health experts recommend choosing a bar that is 70 percent cocoa or higher for maximum health benefits, but now you can rest assured that chowing down on your favorite dessert will do more than just make your tummy happy.
Photo by Chocolate Reviews