This is why dark chocolate is the best choice for maintaining brain health.

Dark chocolate contains caffeine, but less than coffee or tea. Along with caffeine, dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants, which may help brain health.

Dark chocolate has some caffeine, but less than coffee or tea. The cocoa level and brand of dark chocolate affect its caffeine content, although a 1-ounce (28-gram) portion carries about 12 mg. This is substantially less than the 95 to 165 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce (240-milliliter) cup of coffee.

Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, especially flavanols, antioxidant plant chemicals.

Studies have shown that flavonoids may improve cognitive performance, protect against age-related cognitive decline, and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's.

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants like polyphenols, which protect cells from free radical damage. Oxidative stress may cause neurodegenerative illnesses, thus antioxidant-rich foods like dark chocolate may benefit brain health.

Some research suggest that dark chocolate flavonoids may boost cerebral blood flow and cognitive performance. Improved blood flow may improve brain health and function by delivering oxygen and nutrients to brain cells.

Dark chocolate may help brain function due to its caffeine and other chemicals, but it should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Dark chocolate is high in calories and fat, so eat it in small amounts and choose kinds with 70% cocoa or more for optimal health advantages. As with all dietary changes, see a doctor or dietitian for specific advice based on your health and diet.

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