Struggling to recall choreography? Have some chocolate!

A study partially funded Mars candy company suggests chocolate may help preserve memory skills.

Trick-or-treat! Great news for you chocoholics. In a recent experiment, 50- to 69-year-olds who consumed cocoa flavanols over the course of three months significantly improved their performance on pattern recognition memory tests. The results suggest that consuming dark chocolate may improve memory skills as you age.

There is an unfortunate catch, though, or benefit, depending on how you look at it. To get the recommended dosage of the flavanol epicatechin (which seems to be the one that matters), you’d need to eat about seven full-size bars of dark chocolate every day. Tempting? Big time. But definitely not recommended, especially once Halloween is behind us.

Researchers say epicatechin is also found in foods like apples and tea, though it may not be as easily absorbed that way. Further experiments are in the works. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, however, it’s yet another reason to reach for antioxident-rich dark chocolate over milk chocolate, which has had most epicatechin processed out of it. Happy haunting!

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