Chocolate, Memory Food

November 26, 2014 Updated: November 26, 2014

At Scientific Sessions 2014, a meeting of the American Heart Association in sunny Chicago, doctors announced results of a study that found the link between eating foods high in these specific fats and performing poorly on word-recall tests.

The study accounted for variables like education and depression, which might influence memory—but it didn’t account for the rest of what the people eat. It actually only accounted for one other dietary variable outside of trans fats: chocolate.

Why chocolate? Why, chocolate?

Because, lead researcher Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego, told me, chocolate intake seems to have a link to memory. Her own research has actually shown it. 

In addition to a 2012 finding that people who eat chocolate more frequently tend to have lower body-mass indices, Golomb has also found that people who eat a lot of chocolate tend to perform better on memory tests.

And Golomb is not alone in championing that idea. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a novel study that found “a surprisingly powerful correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the number of Nobel laureates in various countries.”

(Messerli/The New England Journal of Medicine)
(Messerli/The New England Journal of Medicine)

Franz Messerli, a professor of medicine at Columbia University, noted in that study that flavonoids, have been shown to improve cognitive function.

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*Image of “hot chocolate” via Shutterstock