A new study conducted by Harvard University found that drinking just two cups of hot chocolate a day for 30 days brought about better blood circulation in the brain and higher scores at memory and cognitive test for mature people. Researchers found that memory and blood flow to the brain have a 'neurological and vascular connection".
"We are learning more and more about the blood flow to the brain and its influence on cognitive thinking skills," says Dr. Sorond Farzaneh, of the Medical faculty. "When different areas in the brain need more energy to complete tasks, they need more blood. This relationship plays a very important role in various diseases and symptoms like Alzheimer's.
The study was publish in the 'Neurology' journal and included about 60 people of ages 65 and up. Out of these, 18 had bad blood flow. Half of the participants drank hot cocoa rich with antioxidants, while the other half drank hot chocolate that is not particularly rich in antioxidants. However, after a month (in which the participants were not allowed to consume chocolate), those with bad blood flow experienced an 8.3% improvement in their blood flow (a big number when we're talking about health), with both types of coco having the same effect.
"From a medical standpoint," wrote the researchers, "the effect of hot chocolate on the blood vessels doesn't seem to be connected to antioxidants."
Now, of course hot chocolate is not the only food to give your brain a push, but it's always good to add something sweet to the menu that actually helps!