I previously discussed chocolate and its potential for improving mood in the Mood Food post. Chocolate could, potentially, boost a number of feel good chemicals in the brain. All good until you take into account the quantity you would need to eat to get anything more than a placebo response.
Of course, the health benefits of dark chocolate have been talked about for some time. Little consolation for milk chocolate lovers like myself.
So I was heartened today to read of the cognitive performing boosting properties of milk chocolate. The study by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, from Wheeling Jesuit University in the U.S. studied the effects of various chocolate types on brain power. Volunteers consumed either milk chocolate, dark chocolate, carob or nothing before completing in a series of cognitive tests.
Dr. Raudenbush reported that performance on verbal and visual memory tests were higher for the milk chocolate consumers than other groups. Groups who consumed either milk or dark chocolate showed improved impulse controls and reaction times.
The magical properties of chocolate?
Sigh. Probably not. The explanation put forward for the enhanced cognitive results relates to the fact that chocolate raises blood glucose which then increases blood flow to the brain. Similar results should therefore be generated by foods that affect glucose metabolism in a similar way.
Still, who wouldn't sign up for a repeat study?
Dr. Rosenbush will be presenting his findings at a conference later this year.
For the full press release, read Chocolate may boost brain power