Want proof that chocolate is a hidden health food? A recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition found cocoa flavanols, the antioxidant found in chocolate, had a beneficial effect on cognitive performance, including improved working memory and visual information processing.
It also found that women who had cocoa after a night of sleep deprivation had less mental fuzziness when performing tasks.
Researchers speculate that cocoa flavanols may help improve cardiovascular health and increase cerebral blood volume. To maximize the benefits, stick with dark chocolate in moderation.