We know that flavonols - the antioxidants in chocolate - have anti-inflammatory effects that can help prevent heart disease. Now Spanish researchers have discovered that eating a moderate amount of chocolate is associated with lower body fat and less abdominal fat, no matter how much (or little) you exercise and regardless of the rest of your diet.
The investigators from the University of Granada looked at nearly 1,500 European adolescents (between ages 12 and 17) and found that the more chocolate they ate (without overindulging), the lower their body mass index and waist circumference. Meanwhile, a team of British and Australian researchers found that the more flavonols a cocoa drink contained, the faster their study subjects could perform on a timed mental test requiring them to count down by threes and sevens.
The researchers described their findings as the first evidence of acute cognitive improvements following consumption of cocoa flavonols by healthy adults. Earlier studies have shown that consumption of flavonols can help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain.