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08 February 2021

Natural cocoa promotes mental performance in young people

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According to a systematic review carried out by different ICTAN - CSIC researchers, the intake of this food can have a positive effect on various cognitive processes.

Natural cocoa provides more than 50 nutrients and is one of the foods which is richest in polyphenols, natural compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator properties. For this reason, it is an ideal food for cognitive function and neuroplasticity in young adults. This is demonstrated by a systematic review carried out by  María Ángeles Martín, Luis Goya and Sonia de Pascual-Teresa, researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology of Food and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC), recently published in the scientific journal  Nutrients.

To reach this conclusion, they have taken into account eleven studies in which 366 people took part with an average age of under 25 years. Their analysis confirmed that both the one-off and continuous intake of cocoa has a positive effect on cognitive functioning. Likewise, after the consumption of flavonoids present in cocoa, there is also an increase in blood flow and brain oxygenation.