Photo of chocolate bars

Dark Chocolate May Boost Your Eyesight

Dark chocolate has been touted as having a number of health benefits given the level of flavonoids they contain. Flavonoids, a type of phytonutrient, are powerful antioxidants that have been tied to:

  • Improved blood flow
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved heart health
  • Better cognitive function
  • Improved immune function

Now, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, researchers believe we can include short-term vision improvements to the list. According to researchers at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas, dark chocolate can boost visual clarity and contrast sensitivity within 2 hours following consumption. Based upon their clinical study on the consumption of dark chocolate versus milk chocolate, they were able to determine that:

  • Visual clarity improved after consumption of dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate
  • Ability to read small letters at differing contrasts was significantly higher after participants ate dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate
  • Ability to read large letters at differing contrasts was slightly higher after participants ate dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate

However, studies which compare two foods have their limitations; it’s not easy to keep the type of chocolate “under wraps” when the participant can determine the type by taste. Because of such limitations, more studies are required in order to determine the duration of the benefit and their effect in a real-world environment. Nonetheless, the initial findings of this study seem reason enough to further support the consumption of dark chocolate…and that’s okay by us!

1. Whiteman, Honor. “Dark chocolate may boost vision.” Medical News Today (2018).
2. Szalay, Jessie. “What Are Flavonoids?” Live Science (2015).
3. Rabin, Jeff C., OD, MS, PhD; Karunathilake, Nirmani, BS, MS; Patrizi, Korey, BS.  “Increased Prevalence of Myopia in the United States Between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004.” JAMA Ophthalmology, (2018).