A Chocolate Fountain of Youth?

A recent study, published in the journal, Hypertension, found a link between higher amounts of flavanols, ingested via a cocoa-based beverage, and improvements in cognitive function among older adults. The higher the amount of flavanols, the better the test subjects did on the tests, showing greater recall and being able to complete the tests more quickly.

As previously discussed in this forum, chocolate is a high-concentration source of flavanoids, a Polyphenol. Studies have already shown that the health benefits flavanoids in chocolate include:
–  Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
–  Increased antioxidant capacity of the body. Antioxidants are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes such as breathing and from environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke.
–  Improved blood flow via increased production of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide increased dilation and inhibits platelet aggregation.
–  Positive influence on metabolic function
–  Lower Cholesterol –Reduced LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent

Now, add to this, increased cognitive function among elderly with cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  Though more study is needed, researchers suggest that “mild cognitive impairment also might decrease the percentage of people with these diseases.”

This is not exactly a fountain of youth, but there is reason to head for the chocolate fountain at the dessert table, especially as you get older.

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