Friday, 28 February 2014

Eating Chocolate Can Improve Math Skills

Bad at maths? Gorge on chocolates before you attempt your next examination. A study from a few years back revealed that eating chocolate could improve the brain’s ability to do maths as well as boost your energy level. Researchers carried out the study in 2009 and found that flavanols, compounds found in chocolate and part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols, actually work by increasing the flow of blood into the brain.

According to the study’s lead author David Kennedy of Northumbria University, the findings suggest that students who binge on chocolate when revising for examination might gain a real benefit from doing so and chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks also. ‘For things that are difficult to do, mentally demanding things that may crop up in your work it could help,’ Prof Kennedy was quoted as saying.

In the study, 30 volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer. The findings showed that they could do the calculations more quickly and accurately after they were given a hot cocoa drink containing 500 mg flavanols. However, the same was not true when the group was 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.



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