The Sweet Treat Guilty Pleasure Research Now Says Makes You Smarter

Is there anything this sweet treat can't do?

woman eating chocolate shironosov / Getty Images

Everyone loves chocolate, and even though we try to cut way back on sugar, there are times we need it. It makes us feel better when we're feeling low. We love its deliciously rich taste, its texture, and how it makes everything better.

Not only that, but chocolate can actually be good for us. It has plenty of benefits including lowering blood pressure, preventing liver damage, boosting good cholesterol, and keeping your heart healthy.


We always suspected that chocolate was good for us, and now there's proof that it can make us smarter! That's right, eating chocolate can boost our brain functions and could literally make us geniuses. Okay, maybe not literally, but it can help our brains function better.

Does chocolate make you smarter?

The short answer? Yes, chocolate can make you smarter by improving your focus, memory, and learning ability.

RELATED: Wine, Chocolate, Spicy Food Diet Makes You Live Longer, Says Science


A study published in the journal Appetite found that eating chocolate on the regular helps improve brain function. "Our study demonstrated positive associations between habitual chocolate consumption and cognitive performance," said the researchers of the study.

It's not entirely surprising that chocolate is good for the brain, since chocolate (the main byproduct of the cacao plant) has been associated with improvements in a range of health complaints dating from ancient times.

The earliest evidence for the medical uses of chocolate was found in Mesoamerican civilizations; iconographic works and fragments, writings, and remnants in the pottery suggest that cacao was prepared in beverage form, at least as early as 600 B.C.

Medicinally, chocolate has been used to reduce fever, treat diarrhea, help with PMS, increase breast-milk production, encourage sleep, and even clean peoples' teeth.


This discovery is a great leap forward for the aging process and how age affects our brains.

RELATED: The Bizarre Reason People Are Sniffing Chocolate

Aging is usually accompanied by declined brain function, including memory and processing speed. However, the study found that regular intake of cocoa flavanols has a beneficial effect on cognitive function, and possibly protects against normal age-related cognitive decline.

In other words, eating chocolate can help keep you sharp!

For the study, researchers used data collected from a Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, also known as MSLS, in which 968 people between the ages of 23 and 98 were measured for dietary intake and cardiovascular risk factors, as well as cognitive function.


The researchers of the study found that eating chocolate on a regular basis was significantly associated with cognitive function regardless of their other dietary habits.

The more frequent the chocolate consumption, the more significant the performance on cognitive tests, including visual-spatial memory and organization, working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination.

It turns out that chocolate is just as good for your brain as it is for your broken heart, so now when you crave a chocolate bar or a slice of decadent lava cake, remind yourself that you're not overindulging — you're simply working on improving your cognitive functioning.


RELATED: Chocolate Cake For Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight, Says Science

Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, and Woman's Day.