Professor David Kennedy, director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University, said that chocolates can be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks. “For things that are difficult to do or mentally demanding things that maybe crop up in your work, chocolates can help,” Professor Kennedy said.
To conduct a study on how a chocolate can increase mental understanding, 30 volunteers were given a compound in chocolate, called flavanol mixed in hot cocoa drinks. The volunteers were then asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer. The findings show that they could do the calculations more quickly and more accurately after they had been given the drink.
However, the same was not true when the volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of seven, which the researchers described as a more complex task, requiring a slightly different part of the brain. The findings also show that the volunteers did not feel tired while doing the calculations. All this happened with only 500mg of flavanol!
The flavanols are a part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols, which work by increasing the flow of blood into the brain. Moreover, the fruits and vegetables that are high in polyphenols are better for your brain in the long run.
So, the students who binge on chocolates when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing so!