Many times when you see blogs about improving your vision, it’s not necessarily something you will print out, rush into the living room where your significant other is waiting, and begin to explain in a loud voice, excited by the important revelations in that blog post.

That may happen with this post. Why?

It’s because studies have shown that eating dark chocolate could actually help improve your vision.

That’s good news for most of us, finding out that something as inexpensive and easy to obtain as dark chocolate could be useful for helping adults maintain better eye health.

Dark chocolate has been studied over the last few years for multiple health reasons. It has been found to contain antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant-based compounds that can do a number of good things within the body, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and increasing cognitive functioning.

Flavonoids have even been shown to help reduce blood pressure.

Now a study has been done that leads researchers to believe the flavonoids in chocolate can actually increase the clarity of your vision within hours of your eating it.

The study took a group of men and women with an average age of 26. Some were given dark chocolate and others were given different types of chocolate.  Two hours after consuming chocolate, the participants were given a battery of tests designed to gauge eyesight.

The subjects who consumed the dark chocolate showed they were better able to read both large and small print at the distance of an average office eye exam. The study by the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas, suggests that the use of the dark chocolate increases the blood flow to the eyes, which can “sharpen [the] ability to read words and numbers.”

The scientists say that because the flavonoids relax the muscles in the body (and thus around the eye), the chocolate improves the blood flow. This allows additional oxygen to enter the eye, which sharpens the overall health and effectiveness of the eye. The scientists made sure to note that the retina contains many blood vessels and that anything that affects the blood pressure and the walls of the blood vessels can have a direct impact on eye health.

So what kinds of dark chocolate should you consume?

The doctors in the study distill their logic down to “the darker the better.” Dark chocolate can contain anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent cocoa flavonoids. In many stores that carry different brands of chocolate, you can often find the dark chocolate labeled with a percentage of the cocoa content. (By contrast, milk chocolate can contain as little as 10 percent and tends to be made with more fat than dark chocolate.)

Now, the good news that dark chocolate can be good for your eye health is tempered a bit by the amount that doctors suggest you eat on a daily basis. If you take the average-size dark chocolate bar from your favorite store, the researchers suggest you only eat two of the little squares a day to gain the benefit for your eye health. They also acknowledge that dark chocolate can have a much more bitter taste than milk chocolate, so you might find that it’s not as easy to consume the chocolate every day.

Dr. Silverman and the staff at EyeCare 20/20 take pride in being able to provide you with all kinds of information to help improve your eyesight. If you’re having a problem with your vision, they would be happy to hear from you. Contact the team at EyeCare 20/20 today.

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