Eating chocolate "improves brain function" - study

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Cheering news for those with a sweet tooth - a recent study has found that regular chocolate consumption is associated with better cognitive function.

Eating chocolate "improves brain function" - study

According to the study, published in the journal Appetite, chocolate consumption was found to be associated with 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.

"More frequent chocolate consumption was significantly associated with better performance on [tests inluding] Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, and the Mini-Mental State Examination," researchers said.
"With the exception of Working Memory, these relations were not attenuated with statistical control for cardiovascular, lifestyle and dietary factors."

• How eating chocolate could help improve your maths
Researchers suggested that regular chocolate intake could help "protect against normal age-related cognitive decline."
They also note that chocolate has historically (if not scientifically) 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."

On a more solid scientific footing, contemporary studies have found that chocolate is good for the heart and circulation, reduces risk of stroke, reduces cholesterol, and protects the skin against sun damage
One study found that it could even help you lose weight. According to neuroscientist Will Clower, a small square of good chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that say “I’m full”, cutting the amount of food you subsequently consume. Finishing a meal with the same small trigger could reduce subsequent snacking.

The price of chocolate is tipped to jump by as much as 30pc by 2020, as soaring demand from chocolate lovers across the world outpaces the lagging rate of production.The price of cocoa, the raw material used to produce chocolate, has surged almost 40pc over the past three years, while cocoa butter, used heavily in milk chocolate, has become 11pc more expensive in the past year. Dry weather, political unrest and the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus last year in West Africa – the area that accounts for around 70pc of the world’s chocolate supply – have contributed to the surges.There will be a 96,000 tonne cocoa deficit this year, estimates the International Cocoa Organisation. Confectionery giant Nestlé recently explained it had slimmed down the size of its Quality Street tins to keep prices competitive amid rising cocoa costs.

Fuente: www.telegraph.co.uk
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