Scientists Confirm Cocoa Really Does Boost Memory, Brain Power and Cognitive Function – HealthyTipsAdvice

New research may help confirm: Cocoa is good for your brain. Chocolate lovers, rejoice!



While many studies have looked at this previously, a team of Italian researchers conducted a metaanalysis examining how cocoa flavanols affect the brain – and found that not only do those flavanols boost memory and cognitive function, but regular consumption can also help protect against aging’s natural cognitive decline.


Their study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that eating cocoa flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain, improving working memory, attention span, and even speed of processing visual imagery. 

The strength of these effects for young and healthy adults, however, were subtle, with demanding cognitive tests needed to uncover them.

Not only that, but surprisingly they also discovered that eating the treat regularly over a long period of time affected the part of the brain linked with age-related cognition, significantly improving the performance of older adults already experiencing mild cognitive decline, and potentially protecting against it. 

“This result suggests the potential of cocoa flavanols to protect cognition in vulnerable populations over time by improving cognitive performance,” said authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara, from the University of L’Aquila, in a statement

“If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus,” they explained. 

“This structure is particularly affected by aging and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans.”

Even better, they found that cocoa after a night of sleep deprivation can help counterbalance the negative affects of that sleep loss – improving cognitive function despite the sleep impairment.

And while one negative, potentially, of increasing chocolate intake might be an increase in added sugar and milk in your diet as a result, there are answers to that problem, too: Dark chocolate!

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