A recent study done by Valentina Socci at a university in Italy has concluded that there is a significant link between chocolate and memory function. To be more specific, there has been a link discovered between the flavanols in the cocoa tree and the preservation of the hippocampus.
Flavanols are naturally occurring compounds found in trees and plants and some of the highest levels are found specifically in the cocoa tree. These flavanols help to preserve and boost the function of the hippocampus which is the frontal part of the brain that is most responsible for creating memories.
The study focused on other studies that have been done in the past in relation to the ingestion of cocoa and it’s affects on the memory. Interestingly enough, the patients that see the most improvement in memory after ingesting the cocoa flavanols are people with mild cognitive decline.
The consumption of chocolate can have immediate effects on memory. Tests can only detect these effects if they are extremely rigorous. Where you can really see the advantages of the flavanols is in long-term regular ingestion of chocolate. Daily intake of chocolate for 5 days to three months show the best results for improving memory function.
The flavanols increase the blood circulation to the hippocampus which stimulates the brain and helps to preserve memory, the report finds.
So, if you the next time you see the piece of chocolate laying around, don’t feel bad- eat it!