Chocolate is a favorite food for many people, mainly because of its benefits. A study revealed, eating chocolate on a regular basis can help support brain function. That’s because cocoa is rich in neuroprotective compounds.
Cocoa beans contain many antioxidant compounds called cocoa flavanols. In a study conducted by Italian researchers, eating cocoa rich in flavanols could improve short-term memory and cognitive function. Flavanols from cocoa beans may have a cognitive enhancement effect and keep brain performance especially cognitive demanding conditions including fatigue and lack of sleep.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis on cocoa beans and found that flavanols bring benefits to the blood circulation in the brain and increase the speed of the visual image process. It shows that cocoa flavanols have the potential to protect cognitive function in people who are susceptible to cognitive impairment.
Eating chocolate in the long-term proven to improve brain performance in adults and even those who are older. For the elderly, chocolate may affect attention, eloquence, and verbal memory especially in those with cognitive impairment.
Meanwhile, research from Harvard Medical School said that cocoa flavanols could improve blood flow to the heart, prevent blood clotting, fight cell damage, and improve cognitive function in those with less sleep. The flavanol content is more common in dark chocolate.
However, experts still warn about the side effects of overeating chocolate. Sugar and milk remain high in chocolate so it can cause the body to get high calories. It does not include the nutritive properties that exist in the cocoa beans for the brain.