Reaching educational goals, and staying healthy can promote academic performance as well as Intelligence Quotient.
Although an overall healthy diet is most important for keeping your body and brain nourished and ready to take on difficult tasks, research shows that certain foods may be especially important for brain health and promoting mental performance.
Dark chocolate and cocoa products have been linked to improved brain health and make excellent choices when you’re cramming for an exam.
Cocoa has the highest flavonoid content by weight of any other food, which is why cocoa products like chocolate significantly contribute to dietary flavonoid intake.
Consuming flavonoid-rich cocoa products may favorably affect brain health.
In one study, 90 older adults with mild mental impairment drank a cocoa beverage containing either 45 mg, 520 mg, or 990 mg of cocoa flavonoids per serving once a day for 8 weeks
At the end of the study, people who drank the high flavonoid beverage performed significantly better on mental tests than those assigned the low flavonoid beverage.
Plus, the high and intermediate flavonoid groups had improved insulin sensitivity, which was suggested to be the primary cause of the improved brain function. Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar from your blood into your cells, where it can be used for energy.
Other studies have shown that cocoa intake may help reduce mental fatigue, improve blood flow to the brain, and boost memory and reaction time on mental tasks.
Interestingly, flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier — a semipermeable membrane that protects your brain — and directly act on areas of the brain that control memory and attention.