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Study Finds Eating Chocolate For Breakfast Could Counteract Effects Of Insomnia In Women

Like we needed any more reasons to eat chocolate, it's been proved that indulging in the sweet stuff on a daily basis can actually be good for your brain.

A study by the University of L'Aquila in Italy found that eating a small bit of dark chocolate each day can improve attention, processing speed, verbal fluency and working memory - plus it could even save you after a sleepless night.

In the review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara tested the affects of the brain a few hours after eating chocolate and the affects after sustaining a cocoa-based diet for a long period of time.

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Most interestingly, the study found that for women, eating cocoa after a night of chronic sleep deprivation actually counteracted the cognitive impairment, such as less accuracy in performing tasks.

Credit: Unsplash/ Annie Spratt
Credit: Unsplash/ Annie Spratt

This showed promising results for people that suffer from sleep deprivation or work irregular shift patterns.

They also found that in the short term, there were enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information, AKA everything you need to start your working day.

Is this our cue to stock up on Nutella for our morning toast?

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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Those that sustained a long-term chocolate diet also showed improvements in attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency. However, this was most pronounced in older adults with the start of memory decline, or those with other mental impairments.

So, given the results, should we reaching for the chocolate on days we need a bit of a mental boost?

"Regular intake of cocoa and chocolate could indeed provide beneficial effects on cognitive functioning over time," the authors said. "There are, however, potential side effects of eating cocoa and chocolate. Those are generally linked to the caloric value of chocolate, some inherent chemical compounds of the cocoa plant such as caffeine and theobromine, and a variety of additives we add to chocolate such as sugar or milk."

Despite this, the scientists revealed in their review they have personally added chocolate into their diets daily as a rich source of flavanols.

Yes, science is telling us to eat chocolate everyday, and who are we to dispute it?

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/ Charisse Kennion

Topics: Tasty, Life News, Chocolate, Health

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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