Eating dark chocolate makes the brain more alert and attentive.
Eating dark chocolate may help to boost attention levels and lower blood pressure. Larry Stevens, a professor of psychological sciences at North Arizona University, and colleagues conducted a study to examine the acute effects of chocolate on attentional characteristics of the brain. The researchers examined the effect that consuming a 60 % cacao chocolate had on the brain (using electroencephalography [EEG]) and blood pressure. A total of 122 participants aged 18-25 were enrolled on the study. Results showed that eating 60% cacao chocolate made the brain more alert and attentive, but it also increased blood pressure for a short time. However, an immediate drop in blood pressure was recorded in participants who consumed 60% cacao chocolate that also contained L-theanine (an amino acid analogue found in green tea). "Chocolate is indeed a stimulant and it activates the brain in a really special way," said Professor Stevens. "It's remarkable. The potential here is for a heart healthy chocolate confection that contains a high level of cacao with L-theanine that is good for your heart, lowers blood pressure and helps you pay attention.”