Chocolate may be everyone’s guilty pleasure, but try setting aside the thought of it adding inches to your waist and imagine how it can possibly boost your mental prowess--enough to give you a chance at the Nobel Prize.

NBCNews.com reports that Dr. Franz Messerli of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University in New York conducted a research based on existing evidence that flavanols in green tea, red wine, and chocolate can slow down or reverse mental deterioration caused by aging. Flavanol is a compound found in plants, which is said to limit oxidative cell damage.

Dr. Messerli also looked into several countries' chocolate consumption and Nobel prize winners, which he deemed as a sign of "cognitive function."

Switzerland, a nation known for chocolates, consumed the most of these sweet treats and won the most Nobel Prizes. Other countries such as the United States, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Belgium, and Germany ran together in the middle of the list, and at the bottom were Japan, China, and Brazil.

Although the study still needs a great deal of supporting evidence and backing from the rest of the scientific community, it can’t be denied that chocolate does have a lot of health benefits. Aside from containing antioxidants, chocolate is also a natural anti-depressant and lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. The list goes on and on, but do you really need more convincing to get yourself a bar of chocolate?

(Photo by hozinja via Flickr Creative Commons)

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