Dave Barry once said: "Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain."
While that may be witty, scientifically speaking it's completely wrong.
A study in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that when healthy adults consume flavanol-rich cocoa found in cocoa powder and dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best), their brain gets a major boost from increased oxygenation, and they have measurably improved cognition.
Researchers served 3 ounces of flavanol-rich cocoa power in 10 ounces of room-temperature water. Subjects could enjoy 3 ounces of dark chocolate or cocoa powder in oat milk.
Milk chocolate and cocoa powder that is Dutch-processed or alkalized doesn't have enough of the flavanols to increase your brain power.
Participants who consumed the dark cocoa got three times more oxygen delivered to their brain than those who consumed low-flavanol cocoa. And the well-oxygenated folks correctly solved challenging cognitive tests 11% faster than they did before they had the flavanol boost.
Read labels carefully to make sure you're getting cocoa powder that's not Dutch-processed or alkalized. And for a great chocolate recipe (that doesn't take a lot of brainpower), check out Chocolate Espresso Mousse in Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook."