Natural chemicals in chocolate called flavonoids are so good at boosting memory and learning that even Canadian snails get smarter when they chow down on chocolate. An experiment on these mollusks shows that chocolate directly benefits the neurons that store memory.
Snails learn things at a snail’s pace, but researchers at the University of Calgary have made a science of teaching them to periodically keep their breathing tubes closed. Normally, a snail retains knowledge of this breathing tube trick for about three hours. But when the animals were treated with flavonoids from chocolate and given a little extra breathing tube practice, they retained the trick for three days.
The researchers conclude that even if you don’t have a breathing tube, chocolate may help your brain emerge from a pond of despond and function at a higher level.