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To keep your body and eyes in tip-top shape, it’s highly recommended that your diet consists of leafy greens and brightly colored fruits and veggies, among other healthy foods. But what perhaps could be the best news of all, it’s also been found that eating dark chocolate has a positive impact on your overall health and vision too. Beyond the sweet taste, dark chocolate has another beneficial trait in the form of an antioxidant called flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, help circulation, and protect the blood vessels in your body – including your eyes.
Not only does the improved blood flow help improve visual acuity, but dark chocolate also contains copper to help support healthy nerve function and prevent damage to the optic nerves. On top of that, the other antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help your body fight off diseases such as macular degeneration.
A recent study also found that eating dark chocolate improved vision in low-contrast situations, such as bad weather. During the study, conducted by England’s University of Reading, researchers enrolled 30 men and women ages 18 to 25 and tested their vision and thinking skills just a couple of hours after they consumed a regular-sized chocolate bar. Each person took the test twice, once after eating a dark chocolate bar (which contains a lot of flavonoids) and once after eating a white chocolate bar (which has just a trace of flavonoids).
The study showed that participants did perform better on vision tests after eating the dark chocolate. Researchers attributed their findings to the impact flavonoids have on blood flow to the brain and retina. Among their findings, researchers also note that the positive impact of flavonoids on blood flow is even greater on those over the age of 25.
In case you need another reason to feed your sweet tooth with dark chocolate – aside from its impact on your actual vision, eating dark chocolate (about an ounce a day) may improve blood flow to the skin, which in turn can help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.