Feb 23: If good taste wasn’t reason enough for you to go gaga over chocolates, then here is another one. A new study has suggested that indulging in a daily chocolate habit could be all it takes for a better-working brain.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia, University of Maine and the Luxembourg Institute of Health, found that chocolate consumption improved cognitive performance “irrespective of other dietary habits”.
Researchers looked at data collected during an earlier study in which residents of Syracuse, New York, were measured for dietary intake and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Participants were also given a series of tests designed to measure cognitive function.
They said that more frequent chocolate consumption was significantly associated with better performance on tests, including Visual-Spatial Memory and Organisation, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, and the Mini-Mental State Examination, adding that with the exception of Working Memory, these relations were not attenuated with statistical control for cardiovascular, lifestyle and dietary factors.
The study suggested that regular chocolate intake could help “protect against normal age-related cognitive decline”. They also note that chocolate has historically been used to “reduce fever, treat childhood diarrhoea, promote strength before sexual conquests, decrease “female complaints”, increase breast-milk production, encourage sleep and to clean teeth.