This post was written by Kate Wilkinson, a Psychology student at Wheaton College. A radio host, resident assistant, and club field hockey player at Wheaton, Kate interned at Brainscape in 2014, helping to grow our community of teacher users.
Eating chocolate not only tastes amazing, but studies have shown that it could be good for your brain as well. Chocolate’s ability to boost concentration seems to stem from the fact that the cocoa plant is jam-packed full of flavanols. Yes, that means chocolate could be your golden ticket to concentration. These antioxidant chemical compounds can help stimulate the brain as well as potentially prevent cardiovascular disease. Flavanols can also be found in red wine, berries, apple skins, and tea.
Mars® recently did a study where they gave out three different amounts of a cocoa drink to 90 Italian men and women who had mild cognitive impairment. The participants were to drink it daily. After two months, they tested the participants on verbal fluency by giving them several nouns and asking them to name the first letter of each. The subjects who were given the highest dose of 900 milligrams scored higher than those who were given the lower doses. Interestingly enough, all of the groups who had the cocoa drink tested higher in organization, memory, and attention than those who did not.
Chocolate still has a long way to go before it can be crowned a superfood, however. Another study examined 71 men and women in Australia by giving them daily doses that ranged from a placebo all the way up to 500 milligrams of a cocoa drink. Their results revealed that there was little to no difference in the improvement of concentration. The difference in data may be due to the fact that in this experiment doses were not as high as those given by Mars®. What is clear is that there needs to be more research conducted on chocolate before experts can start telling people to consume as much as Augustus Gloop does.
However, if you’re a chocolate enthusiast looking for an excuse to eat it, you should eat dark chocolate because it has the highest concentration of flavanols. It will get your mind rolling and have you more than ready for that exam… as long as you studied for it using Brainscape smart flashcards! Now available for iOS and Android.
“Study Skills Blog.” Study Skills Blog RSS. N.p., 26 Sept. 2007. Web. 09 June 2014.
Schardt, David. “How Bittersweet It Is.” Nutrition Action Health Letter Dec. 2013: 8-11. Print.
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