EATING CHOCOLATE every day is good for you.
That’s according to a new scientific study that suggests eating chocolate may actually improve your everyday cognitive ability.
The findings come are part of a new review from the University of L’Aquila in Italy and include some pretty notable caveats.
They found that consuming a small amount of dark chocolate every day improved things like attention span, verbal fluency, memory and processing speed.
It’s all to do with the presence of cocoa flavanols, which are a type of compound present in dark chocolate and fruits like apples, grapes and pears.
“Regular intake of cocoa and chocolate could indeed provide beneficial effects on cognitive functioning over time,’ Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara, the authors of the new review, explained in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
As part of the research, they examined elderly people who ate chocolate on a regular basis, often over the course of a three-month period.
What they noticed was that chocolate helped fight against a potential decline in memory function.
“If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus,” the research said.
“This structure is particularly affected by aging and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans.”
Despite these revelations, the study’s authors were keen to highlight some potential downsides to regular chocolate consumption.
“Regular intake of cocoa and chocolate could indeed provide beneficial effects on cognitive functioning over time. There are, however, potential side effects of eating cocoa and chocolate.
“Those are generally linked to the caloric value of chocolate, some inherent chemical compounds of the cocoa plant such as caffeine and theobromine, and a variety of additives we add to chocolate such as sugar or milk.’
“Dark chocolate is a rich source of flavanols. So we always eat some dark chocolate. Every day.”