Almost everyone loves eating chocolate, right? Many people agree that there is nothing better than the sweet, irresistible taste of rich chocolate- so irresistible that even researchers encourage it. Studies suggest that eating chocolate at least once a week improves one’s abstract thinking and memory. Psychologist Merrill Elias told the Washington Post, “It’s significant – it touches a number of cognitive domains” [1].

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The topic is very controversial because it is difficult to pinpoint what causes the improvement of cognitive skills– it’s nearly impossible to account for all the variables that may affect the results of the studies. However, many of them published by peer-reviewed journals from independent researchers and government-funded studies have shown chocolate contains flavonoid compounds, found in cocoa beans, that help people improve their stress, blood pressure, and blood sugar. In fact, in a particular study done by the journal Hypertension, elderly people that had mild cognitive impairment benefitted from eating dark chocolate the most. They scored better on cognitive tests and memory tests after drinking a cocoa beverage containing the same flavonoids as cocoa beans: only in a matter of eight weeks [2].

Another study done by researchers at the School of Allied Health Professions demonstrated similar benefits. After five people were fed 48 grams of 70 percent cacao, their brain activity was measured. Dr. Lee S. Berk, the ‘Associate Dean of Research Affairs for Loma Linda’s School of Allied Health Professions and the principal investigator for both studies’, stated that “the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects” [3].  

In addition, chocolate can improve the brain’s blood supply with an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow, essentially giving “fuel” for the brain. This phenomenon is known as cerebrovascular coupling, which describes the positive impact of increased blood flow to improve the activity of neurons [4].

Although eating too much chocolate can’t be too healthy, making a quick switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate can be very beneficial. Of course, you can also try to be healthy and workout to improve brain functions, but you can’t deny the fact that it’s far more easier to unwrap a dark chocolate Ferrari Rocher.


References

[1]  Graham, Chris. “Chocolate Makes You Smarter, Study Suggests.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 8 Mar. 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12187042/Chocolate-makes-you-smarter-study-suggests.html.

[2] “Does Chocolate Have Brain Benefits?” @Berkeleywellness, www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/will-chocolate-make-you-smarter.

[3] Haak, Alyssa. “Eating Dark Chocolate Will Make You Smarter, Says Best Study Ever.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2018, http://www.latimes.com/sns-dailymeal-1910664-healthy-eating-dark-chocolate-smarts-study-042518-20180425-story.html.

[4]  “Why Eating Chocolate Is Good for Your Brain.” $79,000, http://www.ksl.com/?sid=26369327.

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