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Via Insider : As if we needed another excuse to eat more chocolate!

New research published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal from Italian scientists at the University of L’Aquila suggests that consuming cocoa regularly can improve your long-term memory.

This is all thanks to chemicals called flavanoids or flavonols that are found naturally in cocoa and are known to have an abundance of health benefits.

In the study, both healthy older adults and elderly adults with signs of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s saw cognitive improvement, especially with memory, after drinking flavanol-rich cocoa drinks over a period of eight weeks. Not only that, but the subjects’ blood pressure and insulin levels improved as well.

Middle-aged subjects also fared well: eating or drinking cocoa products increased their brain’s efficiency, and for younger subjects, consuming chocolate seemed to increase blood-flow to the brain, which can have immediate effects on brain health.

However, since results of cognitive tests were mixed overall (it takes high doses of flavanol for the effects to take place), the researchers are cautious as to the positive impact eating cocoa can have on the brain.

“[Research points to] cocoa as a new interesting nutraceutical tool to protect human cognition and counteract different types of cognitive decline,” scientists said.

Eating chocolate is unlikely to immediately make you smarter, though.

Your average chocolate bar doesn’t have enough flavanols to make an impact — but cocoa could have previously unknown brain benefits that could help those with memory-related diseases in the future.


About the author: Editorial Team



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