Chocoholics, get ready for another reason to chow down on your favorite treat. You already know that chocolate beats codeine for stopping coughs, but new research shows it’s great for your brain, too.
A new study published last month originally tracked the relationship between blood pressure and brain performance, but it ended up discovering something amazing about chocolate instead.
Of the 1,000 participants in the study, those who reported eating chocolate at least once a week had better “visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning and [also performed better in] the mini-mental state examination” than those who rarely or never ate chocolate.
“It’s not possible to talk about causality, because that’s nearly impossible to prove with our design,” says psychologist Merrill Elias, who authored the study. “But we can talk about direction. Our study definitely indicates that the direction is not that cognitive ability affects chocolate consumption but that chocolate consumption affects cognitive ability.”
Chocolate has already been proven to increase concentration thanks to compounds known as methylxanthines, but this is the first study that shows possible impacts of habitual chocolate consumption on the brain. Scientists think that the cocoa flavanols found in chocolate could increase blood flow to the brain, therefore improving its function if chocolate is consumed regularly.
More studies are needed to see if the type of chocolate matters and if how often chocolate is consumed affects its cognitive benefits. Read more at The Washington Post.
Looking to test out this theory? Here are a few helpful starting points: