A recent study suggests that regular chocolate consumption may make us smarter, since the delicious treat seems to boost memory and concentration. Researchers also found that chocolate has a positive effect on brain functions despite ‘other dietary habits.’
The study, which was published this week in the journal Appetite, was based on earlier data from a research trying to assess participants’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease depending on what they eat on a regular basis. Volunteers also underwent tests that measured their cognitive function.
Study authors found an association between regular chocolate consumption and higher scores in tests assessing memory, abstract reasoning, organization, and mental state. Researchers adjusted the findings for other risk factors including heart disease risk, lifestyle choices and diet, but the link between chocolate and better cognitive function was still there.
Study authors also found that chocolate could shield people’s brains from aging and cognitive decline. They said that the findings are not surprising because the dark treat has been accountable for countless of health benefits over the centuries including better breast milk production, lower fever, aphrodisiac, better night sleep and so on.
Though not all these benefits have been proven by science, some of them are backed by scientific studies. For instance, past research had found that chocolate consumption could reduce risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke, could lower bad blood cholesterol and even shield the skin against UV damage.
An isolated study has found that it could help you shed some extra pounds with a small trick. Will Clower, co-author of the study, recommends people who want to lose weight to keep a square of high-quality chocolate on their tongues 20 minutes before eating. He explained that the compounds in the sweet treat forces satiety hormones in the brain to tell the body that you are full faster. This way, you should eat less than usual. Plus, the trick could deter snacking between meals, researchers explained.
But one piece of bad news is that we may not be able to enjoy the delicious and apparently healthy food, because its price is expected to skyrocket in the next years. Analysts estimate that it could jump 30 percent by the end of the decade, as demand currently outpaces production by a great deal.
Plus, cocoa’s price jumped 40 percent since 2013, while cocoa butter, another raw material essential for chocolate production, is now 11 percent more expensive than it was a year ago.
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