Italian scientists have found evidence that a daily dose of cocoa acts as a dietary supplement to counteract different types of cognitive decline.
Back in 2017, the team found that regularly eating cocoa was linked to improvements in working memory and visual information processing and cocoa could be particularly beneficial for certain people.
Cocoa, is the dried and fermented bean from the cocoa tree used to make delicious chocolate treats. Cocoa has been studied extensively because, well, who wouldn't want that job.
Over the years, it has been found that a range of naturally occurring chemicals in the cocoa bean have therapeutic effects.
For example, polyphenols in dark chocolate were found to increase calmness and contentedness and flavanols were able to reverse age-related memory decline.
Before you start using this an excuse to scoff as much chocolate as humanly possible, just remember that chocolate also contains theobromine, a toxic chemical. Though to be at risk of poisoning yourself, you'd have to eat about 85 full sized chocolate bars.
In the study, the team looked through the literature for effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on brain activity and, more specifically, what happens if you do this over a long period of time.
The scientists found that there was enough evidence to support the health claims attributed to cocoa, and, in particular, the flavanol compounds it contains.
They noticed enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after consuming cocoa flavanols. The benefits varied depending on the demographic being tested.
For the elderly, it turns out that long term ingestion of cocoa flavanols improved attention, mental processing, working memory and verbal fluency and was most beneficial in those who had mild cognitive impairments or the beginnings of memory loss.
文中to counteract different types of cognitive decline，是指“抵消不同类型的认知能力下降”。