Why eating dark chocolate could be good for your eyesight

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you’ve ever needed an excuse to indulge in chocolate, well, it’s on our doorstep with the Easter long weekend! And this year, Easter celebrations will be like no other, with most Australians spending the holiday season in home isolation. With increased time near the pantry, it’s going to be even harder to resist the urge to reach for a sneaky chocolate Easter egg or three.

Good news is that some happy research indicates the ingredients in dark chocolate make it not only delicious but may help to sharpen our eyesight, which frankly is a win-win for all.

Optometry Australia’s 2020 Vision Index Report reveals that 31% of Australians believe that carrots significantly improve their eyesight, however it is not just ingredients in the humble carrot that aids in healthy eyesight - there are other nutritious ingredients including those found in dark chocolate that can help improve our vision.

According to research released by the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIW), chocolate with more than 72% cacao increases blood flow which can sharpen our ability to read words and numbers.

The ingredient that drives these benefits is the cacao bean as they are full of flavanol, an organic compound found in fruits and vegetables that reduces inflammation.

It is important to note that not all chocolate is made equal with dark chocolate, proving to provide more benefits to our eyesight compared to milk chocolate. The UIW study undertaken saw 30 people eat both a dark chocolate bar and a milk chocolate bar before participating in tests for multiple aspects of vision.

Each bar was consumed three days apart to provide clearer results. More than 70 per cent of those who consumed the dark chocolate bars scored significantly higher on the vision tests taken after eating the dark chocolate than they did after eating the milk chocolate.

Consider this the sign you were looking for to get the go ahead for eating those Easter eggs and enjoying a bit of dark chocolate indulgence (in moderation of course) this Easter!

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