As we immerse ourselves in the Halloween season and browse the web for the best deals on bulk candy, it’s probably not a great time to hear some bad news about chocolate. But if you’re a chocolate lover who makes healthy vision a priority, then you need to hear this.
Contrary to a previous report that suggested certain aspects of vision improved within a few hours of people consuming dark chocolate, researchers from Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany recently discovered that eating dark chocolate will not improve your vision.
The study found no changes in vision or blood flow after 22 healthy volunteers (who had no vision issues) consumed approximately 20 grams of dark chocolate — equivalent to about a quarter of a dark chocolate candy bar and containing 400 milligrams of flavanols.
Why It Was Initially Thought That Dark Chocolate Might Help Vision
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants called flavonoids, which are plant-based compounds that have multiple health benefits, including preventing or delaying some forms of cell damage.
In terms of eye health, studies have shown that foods with high levels of antioxidants can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. And scientists have determined that because flavonoids induce muscle relaxation in the eyes and throughout the body as a whole, chocolate promotes oxygenation of the eyes, which improves their overall health and visual acuity.
The Good News
Don’t rule out chocolate just yet!
The study in question was based on a small sample size and conducted over a brief time period. In other words, it failed to provide evidence that eating dark chocolate over longer periods of time wasn’t beneficial.
Additionally, its authors indicated that more research on this subject needs to be done. In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “As this small trial does not rule out the possibility of benefits, further trials with larger sample sizes would be needed to rule in or out possible long-term benefits confidently.”
At this point, the jury is still out over the long-term effects that chocolate may (or may not) have on vision health. Of course, even if chocolate is one day proven to show long-term benefits, we personally can’t live on chocolate alone (as much as we might want to!).
When it comes to your eyes, you maintain your vision health in much the same way you do with the rest of your body: with a balanced, nutritious diet, regular exercise, and adequate amounts of sleep.
To learn more about eye-healthy eating and for suggestions on a few recipes that make it as delicious as it is easy, here are a few resources that can help!
- Top 5 Food to Eat for Healthy Eyes
- 7 Dessert Dishes to Boost Your Eye Health
- Drink This Beverage to Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy
- The 4 Types of Vitamins Your Eyes Need
- Warm Winter Recipes to Promote Eye Health
And if you want to know for certain that your eyes and vision are the best that it can be (and will continue to be for years to come), the best thing to do is to ensure you receive regular comprehensive eye exams.
To keep your eyes healthy and happy and your vision comfortable and clear, contact us today to schedule an eye exam! With the holidays and busiest months of the year just around the corner, there’s no better time than now!