New study links eating chocolate with improved brain function

By @vitthernandez on
Chocolate Bar
A Hershey's chocolate bar is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California January 29, 2015. Reuters/Mike Blake

Besides making you look sexy, chocolate also helps make a person brainy. That would mean two more reasons to have some portions of chocolate on a regular basis.

The new study, based on data collected in Syracuse, New York, for an earlier research, comes on the heels of another research, led by a Tel Aviv University professor, that eating chocolate cake at breakfast helps lose weight. Now, the favourite confection is being associated with improved cognitive function, reports The Telegraph.

Frequent chocolate consumption was linked with better performance on several mental tests such as the Mini-Mental State Examination, Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Abstract Reasoning, Scanning and Tracking, and Working Memory, say researchers. They explain, “With the exception of Working Memory, these relations were not attenuated with statistical control for cardiovascular, lifestyle and dietary factors.”

The dietary intake and risk factors for cardiovascular ailments of the Syracuse participants were measured for the earlier research. The new research, published in the Appetite journal, discovered a link between cognitive performance and chocolate consumption “irrespective of other dietary habits.”

Researchers add that chocolate could even provide protection against cognitive decline that comes with advance in age. Previous research have also linked chocolate with better circulation, lower risk of stroke, reduction of cholesterol and protection for the skin versus sun damage.

While the Tel Aviv University research by Professor Daniela Jakubowicz recommends eating chocolate cake for breakfast since the body has the rest of the day to burn it and it helps stem sweet tooth craving for sugary food, another neuroscientist has a different technique. Dr Will Clower, author of “Eat Chocolate Lose Weight,” recommends placing a small square of chocolate on the tongue to melt for 20 minutes before a meal.

It triggers hormones in the brain that say the stomach is full, helping a diner cut the amount of food eaten ad lose weight. The encounter with chocolate doesn’t end before meal because Clower also suggested repeating the intake after meal to reduce subsequent snacking. He says, “Given the fact that healthy cultures eat chocolate all the time … it seems logical that you should eat chocolate every day, like a delicious vitamin.”

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