If you eat dark chocolate for its health benefits, you’ll be happy to know there’s another reason (besides the fact that it’s delicious) to indulge in the daily treat.
A new study, published in the journal Hypertension, found that eating dark chocolate every day may improve brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment.
Full disclosure: Mars, who are obviously in the business of chocolate making, funded the study. Still, the new study is only adding to a growing list of research that says the same thing. Another recent study, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that flavanol-rich cocoa stimulates the brain, boosts memory and could protect against Alzheimer’s.
‘Flavonoids preserve cognitive abilities during aging in rats, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and decrease the risk of stroke in humans,’ the study’s authors wrote.
Other experts agree. ‘There is a large and growing body of evidence linking foods concentrated in bioflavanoids ‘ and cocoa specifically ‘ with beneficial health effects,’ Dr. David Katz, director of medical public health studies at Yale University, told ABC news.
Still, the new study isn’t license to eat endless amounts of chocolate bars’in fact, all the studies touting the benefits of chocolate talk about pure cocoa or dark chocolate in moderation, not milk chocolate bars packed with bad-for-you extras.
To get your daily chocolate fix, have a square or two of pure dark chocolate, add a tablespoon of pure cocoa powder to your morning smoothie or try these healthy chocolate recipes. My personal fave? This decadent Chocolate Pudding Without the Guilt. Yum!
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor (Image: Ekspansio/istock)