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Chocolate could ‘improve brain function’

chocolate bar

With Easter on the way, we look forward to eating chocolate guilt-free, however it might actually help you to think better too. Research published in the journal Appetite looked at the effects of chocolate on cognitive function.

Dr Georgie Crichton from Sansom Institute for Health explained that chocolate and cocoa flavanols have long been associated with cardiovascular benefits and improvements in a range of health problems. “Less is known about the effects of chocolate on neurocognition and behavior,”

The researchers tested the cognitive function  of 968 people from Syracuse, New York and looked at their memory, concentration, reasoning and information processing. “We found that those who ate chocolate at least once per week (or more), performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less than once per week.” Dr Crichton explains.

She stated that irrespective of factors including age, sex, education, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, total energy and alcohol intake, there is a significant relationship between chocolate and brain function.

“Previous research has mostly examined the acute effects of increasing chocolate consumption on cognition, (ie performance) immediately after consuming a chocolate bar/cocoa drink. Our research has looked at habitual intakes.”

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