New Yorkers Might Need More Chocolate Consumptions, Research Suggests

Mar 18, 2016 06:37 AM EDT | By Anita Valensia

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Weekly chocolate consumption, according to researchers, is said to boost brain's cognitive function. This finding was published in Appetite journal from the University of South Australia. The analysis took samples of 968 New Yorkers from 23 to 98 years old. Several checklists of the chocolate eating habit examinations included abstract reasoning, working memory, visual-spatial memory and mental state. The relation took age and health into account as parts of the contributing factors in cognitive performance.

The effects of chocolate

Scientifically, chocolate consumption is associated with visual-spatial memory and working memory. In daily tasks, the functions are translated to memorizing a to-do-list, a contact number, or doing the multitasking job like talking while driving.

Cocoa flavanols - the nutrient responsible for reducing cognitive dysfunction - has been found to have a positive impact on psychological health. Flavanols increase the blood flow that enables the brain to improve its function. Chocolate is also a great source of tryptophan - the amino acid bliss that transmits positive mood.

A study in 2005 found that methylxanthines found in coffee, tea and chocolate are the compounds that enhance human's alertness. The finding was said to be quite representative of the New York population, according to Georgina Crichton, a nutrition expert at the University of South Australia.

For decades, psychologist Merrill Elias had been examining cognitive abilities of the people in New York. The discovery found that the research did not found any correlation between the heart disease factors and chocolate. Further study by Elias found that diet decision may have affected the risks instead.

Further research needed

The research is not finished yet. Scientists still need to dig deeper on the type of chocolate consumed. This will improve the accuracy of the study's result. As for now, experts suggest eating chocolate in small amount instead of stuffing the sweets in the mouth for too much.

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