Chocolate could help protect against normal age-related cognitive decline
Cheering news for those with a sweet tooth – a recent study has found that regular chocolate consumption is associated with better cognitive function.
According to the study, published in the journal Appetite, chocolate consumption was found to be associated with cognitive performance “irrespective of other dietary habits.”
Researchers looked at data collected during an earlier study in which residents of Syracuse, New York, were measured for dietary intake and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Participants were also given a series of tests designed to measure cognitive function.
“More frequent consumption was significantly associated with better performance on [tests inluding] Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, and the Mini-Mental State Examination,” researchers said.
“With the exception of Working Memory, these relations were not attenuated with statistical control for cardiovascular, lifestyle and dietary factors.”
Researchers suggested that regular intake could help “protect against normal age-related cognitive decline.”
They also note that chocolate has historically (if not scientifically) been used to “reduce fever, treat childhood diarrhoea, promote strength before sexual conquests, decrease ‘female complaints’, increase breast-milk production, encourage sleep and to clean teeth.”
Chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function: the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study https://t.co/pyEYclVmW0
— Dr. Pamela Peeke (@PamPeekeMD) February 17, 2016
On a more solid scientific footing, contemporary studies have found that chocolate is good for the heart and circulation, reduces risk of stroke, reduces cholesterol, and protects the skin against sun damage
One study found that it could even help you lose weight. According to neuroscientist Will Clower, a small square of good chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that say “I’m full”, cutting the amount of food you subsequently consume. Finishing a meal with the same small trigger could reduce subsequent snacking.