If you’re a bit of a chocoholic , then this study will come as music to your ears.
Researchers from Loma Linda University have revealed that eating dark chocolate with 70 per cent cacao has positive effects on stress levels, mood, memory and immunity.
Dr Lee Berk, who led the study, said: “For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are.
“This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings.
“These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.”
The researchers carried out two studies to test the effect of eating dark chocolate.
In the first study, the team looked at the the impact of eating 70 per cent cacao chocolate on the human immune system, and found that the treat set off a cascade of reactions that in turn reduced inflammation.
The second study analysed the brain health benefits of eating dark chocolate, and found that the snack enhanced neuroplasticity – and in turn boosted memory.
The team suggests that the benefits may lie in chemicals called flavonoids, which are found in cacao.
They now plan to carry out follow-up studies to understand the mechanism behind these effects.
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