Chocoholics and other sweet lovers rejoice! A new study might prove that chocolate is in fact good for you, or parts of you at least.
A study by Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor of neurology at HarvardMedicalSchool, found a link between hot cocoa consumption and improvement in cognitive abilities.
Dr. Sorond studied 60 older adults with impaired blood flow to the brain. The subjects enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa twice a day for 30 days and by the end of the study experienced a 30% increase in memory and cognitive abilities.
Experts say more research is necessary, but believe that the link may be the antioxidants or caffeine in chocolate or the fact that chocolate intake is pleasurable for the brain.
However, medical experts caution against viewing chocolate as a cure-all. The sugar in chocolate is still a cause of concern for diabetics and people with high blood pressure, which would of course offset any positive benefits derived from cocoa.
Additionally, it is important to note that there are other ways to increase blood flow to the brain, including maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise.
Chocolate is fine so long as it is consumed in moderation (and you haven’t been advised to abstain, naturally). The next time you’re treating yourself and someone mentions how unhealthy chocolate is, now you have some research to defend your choice of sweet.
So go ahead and devour that chocolate—in moderation.