Photo cred - indieminduk
Chocolate is more than just your favourite sweet treat, as the growing canon of scientific research on the physiological effects of the cocoa-derived dessert have shown that chocolate actually makes you smarter. Fatter, yes, but still smarter.
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology outlines the cognitive benefits of chocolate, or more specifically, the flavonoids held within cocoa. Said cocoa flavonoids (CFs) activate specific neural pathways in your brain, which in turns improves one's ability to learn new bits of info and remembering them.
In other words, flavonoids in cocoa, and by consequence, chocolate, strengthen the link between certain pathways in your brain, and in turn that improves your memory and cognitive performance.
This isn't all just talk from a single scientist either. Many studies on the positive effects of cocoa flavanoids on the brain have been enacted, much like this one performed by Andrew B Scholey of Swinburne University and others.
In the study, test subjects ingested one of three (none/the control, medium, or high content) CF drinks and were then asked to perform a series of mental tests. All participants that ingested CFs performed better during the mental tests than those who didn't, with the findings touted as the "first report of acute cognitive improvements following CF consumption in healthy adults."
Not only does chocolate make you smarter and reduce mental fatigue, but is also a veritable fountain of youth for your brain too. A new study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older adults who began consuming CFs saw an improvement in brain function in just 8 weeks. Increased insulin resistance and lowered blood pressure was documented as well.
To get all the health benefits of CFs you should probably be eating pure cocoa beans, but they're not nearly as delicious as chocolate, so we won't call you out when you say the next chocolate bar you crack open is "for your health."
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