Research to date shows that chocolate has both short-term and long-term cognitive benefits. Cocoa beans, used to make chocolate, contain phytonutrients known as flavanols, which have beneficial polyphenol activity in the body and may lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and make blood platelets less sticky and likely to clot. Soon after you eat flavanol-rich chocolate, you may experience improvement in working memory (the system that lets you temporarily store and manage information) and in the way your brain processes visual information. There’s also some evidence that chocolate may encourage the bacteria in your gut to generate anti-inflammatory compounds. Keep in mind, though, that not all chocolate is created equal — by a long shot! Conventional candy bars tend to be high in sugar, fat, and junky ingredients, and the more chocolate is processed, the more flavanols are lost. Maximize the benefits without overdoing the sugar, fat, and calories by aiming for about an ounce of good-quality dark chocolate a day.
“..research investigating the relations between cocoa and cognition shows dose-dependent improvements in general cognition, attention, processing speed, and working memory.”
V. Socci et alia