By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer

Eating chocolates increases brain function. That’s right. Go crazy./PHOTO VIA Flickr user peter pearson

You know how people always say to avoid stereotypes because we’ll probably be wrong about the person? Well, we kind of misguidedly judged one of our best friends. Its name is chocolate.

My mom always told me, “Sanah, don’t eat that extra piece of chocolate, you’ll get fat,” and I believed her. In fact, I believed this myth for the longest time, but in article from the journal Neurology, researchers found that chocolate can actually help older people think sharper and keep their brains healthy. The participants in the study that drank two cups of chocolate-based drinks for 30 days had an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow to the brain. It even helped with memory and cognitive exams.

The study, funded by Mars, Inc. (the chocolate company), made a connection with the flavanols in cocoa. The adults consumed some form of cocoa in a drink every day for eight weeks and researchers found that those who consumed more flavanols did better not only on cognitive tests, but also completed the exams more quickly and remembered more of the information. So you know what that means — walk into your next exam like a boss while eating chocolate. You know all those mornings of taking your Vitamin D, that gross fish oil and a piece of dark chocolate did you well and you should feel good about it.

Cocoa consumption, along with making you a smart (chocolate chip) cookie may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a 2012 study produced by Oscar Franco from the University of Cambridge in England.

Another positive? Eating chocolate can make you slimmer. Cue the “HALLELUJAH!” According to a 2012 study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, people who ate chocolate five times a week had a lower Body Mass Index than people who avoided chocolate.

But here’s the deal with chocolate. Like most things, it needs to be done in moderation. So don’t go raiding Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Also, remember: the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is for you. The dark chocolate is what has all the ingredients that keep you healthy, like fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. So get on that chocolate jungle fever and enjoy that Godiva bar.