It's the news we've all been waiting for: eating dark chocolate with 70% cacao can reduce stress levels and have a positive effect on mood, memory and immunity. Hurrah! Two new studies by Loma Linda School of Allied Health Professions in California have revealed the health benefits of eating the tasty treat. Dr. Lee S. Berk, lead researcher on the studies, said: "For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content — the more sugar, the happier we are."
He explained: "This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects."
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In the first study, researchers discovered how 70% cacao could accelerate the immune system, while in the second study the outcome revealed that dark chocolate can improve memory by enhancing neuroplasticity.
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So does this means we can indulge in our favourite snack whenever we fancy? Well, sadly not. The study advises moderation with dark chocolate due to health risks with increased sugar levels.