Eating chocolate DOES make you smarter

23rd Feb 16 | Lifestyle

Good news for those of us with a sweet tooth!

Finally an excuse to reach for as much chocolate as you'd like - it turns out eating the sugary goodness could make you smarter!

A study from the University of South Australia, shows that people who eat chocolate at least once a week perform better on a range of multiple cognitive tasks compared with those who eat it less often.

Scientists believe this is down to flavonoids, a type of antioxidant also found in tea, wine, fruit and vegetables. 

The study tracked 1,000 people over 30 years and measured a whole range of health indicators, including the effects it has on memory, concentration, reasoning and information processing.

Lead author Dr Georgie Crichton, of the University of South Australia, said the benefits of chocolate have been seen for years.

"Chocolate and cocoa flavanols have been associated with improvements in a range of health complaints dating from ancient times.

"They have established cardiovascular benefits, but less is known about the effects of chocolate on cognition and behaviour."

“The study found that those who ate chocolate at least once per week (or more), performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less than once per week,” she said.

Dr Crichton did add that consumption of chocolate should, of course, go hand-in-hand with a balanced diet.

"Of course chocolate intake should be considered within an overall healthy eating pattern, with consideration given to total energy intake and an individual’s energy needs."