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Health benefits of the Mocha coffee

According to a new study, next time you’re struggling to choose a “pick-you-up”afternoon snack, try a mocha coffee. The research found that combining chocolate and caffeine — both good on their own for promoting alertness — leads to better attention levels and lower anxiety than either on their own.

The study, published online in BMC Nutrition, found that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, can increase alertness, however, its qualities are heightened when mixed with caffeine. On the other hand, drinking caffeine without cocoa didn’t seem to affect volunteers’ concentration, but the addition of cocoa did make volunteers less angry after concentration tasks than those who had caffeine on its own, The Indy 100 reported.

“Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety,” explained study researcher Ali Boolani, in a recent press release. “This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects — a good reason to drink mocha lattes!”

For the study, volunteers consumed either cocoa, caffeinated cocoa, caffeine on its own, or a placebo (flavored and colored brewed water). Volunteers were measured on their motivation to perform cognitive activities, their mood, and their attention. Results showed repeatedly that cocoa and caffeine together had the best results for motivation, mood, and attention.

Chocolate isn’t just helpful for concentration and alertness. The sweet may also lower chocoholics’ risk of cardiovascular disease. A 2017 study found that higher chocolate intake is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular problems in the future. Although the exact reason for this is not clear, the team suspected it may be related to both flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in the cocoa, and the milk byproducts, such as calcium and fatty acids. If you want to reap the most benefits from your sweet treat, you may want to visit the dark side. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dark chocolate has higher concentrations of flavonoids and fewer additives.