Just in time for the Easter Bunny…a New Look at Chocolate
Although chocolate may not cure cellulite or sagging breasts, new research does find it good for the brain.
The latest news on chocolate couldn’t have been sweeter: it benefits the brain! Results of an international study – the researchers were from Australia, Maine and Luxembourg – suggested that people who eat chocolate at least once a week performed better on a series of neuropsychological tests than people in the study who didn’t consume chocolate at least once a week. The tests revealed that those who enjoyed the most chocolate among the study’s 968 participants showed improved visual-spatial memory and abstract reasoning compared to those who consumed less chocolate. The researchers theorized that the flavanols (antioxidants) in chocolate were responsible for the brain boost, just as these compounds seem to be for improvements in blood flow associated with chocolate. How much chocolate should you eat to help sharpen your memory or hone your abstract reasoning? And what kind of chocolate would be best for these purposes? Unfortunately, those questions weren’t addressed. This study may not have fully satisfied the yen for good news about chocolate, but previous animal studies have documented the protective effects of flavanol consumption on cognition, and other investigators have reported similar benefits in humans. Stay tuned.
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