photo: Robert Muller via Flickr

Got chocolate? We hope so! As if you needed another reason to chomp on chocolate, new research suggests that eating chocolate every day is good for your brain.

The newest study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition and conducted in Italy, found that regular intake of cocoa flavonoids, which are present in chocolate, “could be associated with better cognitive function, decreased risk of dementia and cognitive decline, lower prevalence of cognitive impairment, better cognitive evolution over a 10-year period and better dose-dependent cognitive performance in normal aging.”

In other words, eating your favorite chocolaty treat may help your brain stay young. Yum to that!

And, tired mommies take note: the study also found that women given chocolate after a night of sleep-deprivation performed better at cognitive tests than women not given the chocolate. You read that right: it appears that small doses of chocolate could counteract your new mama (sleepless nights) brain.

It’s just one more reason to love all things cocoa. It has long been known that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is high in antioxidants and is linked with lowering cholesterol and heart disease risk, as well as a lower risk of diabetes and stroke.

Of course, everything in moderation. Chocolate, especially in candy bars and dairy products, is high in calories and sugar, so it’s wise to limit yourself to just a small square per day.

Click here to read the full study.

Do you need another excuse to eat chocolate? Tell us in the comments below.