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Will Eating More Chocolate Make You Smarter?

Jacques Torres Chocolate

CBS New York (con't)

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NY Sweet Spots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For a lot of us, eating chocolate is a guilty pleasure.

But research shows it can be good for your health, and even boost your brain power.

TV 10-55′s Katie McGee researched the sweet details.

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A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests countries that consume the most chocolate, like Switzerland, produce the most Nobel Prize winners.

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“Chocolate is one of the great superfoods out there, packed with nutrients,” said Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet. “Is it going to make you smarter? Maybe just a little bit.”

Ramsey said eating chocolate might not make you a genius, but it can stimulate the brain.

Powerful antioxidants in the chocolate, called flavanoids, keep the brain sharp and focused.

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“It has phytonutrients – plant based molecules that actually relax your blood vessels. That means more blood to your brain, and that’s always a good thing,” Dr. Ramsey said.

Nutritionist Dr. Keith Ayoob said the benefits are in the cocoa bean. So choose the darkest, purest chocolate – and watch your portions.

“The best chocolate is dark chocolate, at 70 percent cocoa or more,” said Dr. Ayoob. “When you add cookies and wafers…then we’re getting into the arena of candy, not really chocolate.”

Pure cocoa powder made into hot chocolate is another smart choice.

“We have to pay attention to calories, too,” said Dr. Ayoob. “Make it with low fat, fat free milk and don’t be stingy with the cocoa powder. If you like it really chocolately, this is your chance.”