Chocolate Benefits Your Cognitive Function

March 7, 2019
As long as you don’t consume it in excess and combine it with a healthy diet, eating a small amount of chocolate may improve your brain function.

If there’s one food that people always eat with a little bit of guilt, it’s chocolate. It’s a comfort food, one of those temptations we give into, and sometimes it can even make it hard to lose weight. But did you know research has found chocolate benefits your cognitive function?

There’s nothing quite like eating chocolate in moderation. At least the right kind of chocolate, that is.

Dark chocolate is usually better for your health, but new research says that even a little bit of milk chocolate benefits your body.

According to a recent study conducted at the Research Center for Nutritional Physiology at the University of South Australia, if you eat chocolate at least once a week on a regular basis, your brain will be more agile and your concentration and memory will be greatly improved.

This is definitely one of those results that everyone is happy to hear about, and that’s why we want to share it with you in today’s article.

Chocolate benefits your cognitive function

You probably already know that there are many different types of chocolate out there. Not all of them are healthy. What you might buy from a commercial chocolate factory, for example, isn’t necessarily good for you.

Anything with a very high amount of sugar or lots of preservatives will probably have negative effects. These product can reduce your brain function, raise your cholesterol, and may even elevate your risk of having a stroke. It makes all of this even worse if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

According to Dr. Georgie Crichton, you should only eat about an ounce of chocolate every day. That’s between 25 and 28 grams.

Milk chocolate in a heart shape.

You can exceed that amount a couple of times a week. But the best thing to do is to choose high quality chocolate.

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Find out more information below.

Consuming dark chocolate during pregnancy improves the development of the fetus

According to a study at the University of Atlanta, dark chocolate is very rich in a powerful antioxidant known as flavonol.

When pregnant women consume between 20 and 35 grams of dark chocolate a day throughout their pregnancy, it improves the quality of the placenta. It also lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia, a medical condition associated with high blood pressure.

Interesting, isn’t it?

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Chocolate can protect you from heart and cerebrovascular disease

The key is flavonoids and minerals such as magnesium. These are capable of enhancing the health of both your heart and brain.

  • The University of Aberdeen in Scotland conducted a 12-year study during which they monitored the health of 20,000 participants. One of the groups consumed between 30 and 40 grams of chocolate a day. The rest of the participants did not eat chocolate and also avoided the excess consumption of alcohol.
  • The results were incredibly illuminating. Patients who enjoyed chocolate in small amounts on a regular basis enjoyed better heart and brain health. Of course, their lifestyles were also moderately active in this study.

Dark chocolate and milk chocolate benefit cognitive function

Gears representing the brains cognitive function.

In the beginning of the article we suggested that eating chocolate on a daily basis and in moderation is fine. Researchers have found that it can have the following positive results:

  • Your visual memory and organizational skills will improve.
  • You may improve your working memory, enhancing your ability to analyze data, retain information, and create new information.
  • Your short and long-term memory will also improve.

Now, you might wonder how you can get all these benefits from a single ounce of dark or milk chocolate.

The researchers followed people between 19 and 98 years of age for over 30 years. They found overwhelmingly positive results.

  • The flavonols in chocolate increase connectivity between your brain cells.
  • Blood flow and quantity to the brain is improved.
  • Small amounts of caffeine in chocolate improve alertness without raising stress levels or putting strain on the body.
  • Another interesting fact is that cocoa contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that helps control and regulate LDL cholesterol. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.
Chocolate benefits you most if you have an otherwise healthy and active lifestyle.

In conclusion, it’s important to reiterate that chocolate by itself won’t give you all these benefits if you’re neglecting the rest of your diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

This ancient and delicious food should be consumed as if it were a gift from nature herself. That is to say, have it in small amounts and accompany it with other healthy living habits.

We know you’ll enjoy it – and, your health will too.

  • Kerimi A, Williamson G. The cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate. Vascular Pharmacology. 2015.
  • Crichton GE, Elias MF, Alkerwi A. Chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Appetite. 2016;
  • Socci V, Tempesta D, Desideri G, De Gennaro L, Ferrara M. Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoids. Front Nutr. 2017;
  • Saftlas AF, Triche EW, Beydoun H, Bracken MB. Does Chocolate Intake During Pregnancy Reduce the Risks of Preeclampsia and Gestational Hypertension? Ann Epidemiol. 2010;
  • Kwok CS, Boekholdt SM, Lentjes MAH, Loke YK, Luben RN, Yeong JK, et al. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart. 2015;