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Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate for brain health.

Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate for brain health.

Earlier this summer, we reported on a health benefit of hot chocolate that could make it seem a bit more appetizing on a hot summer day – namely, its potential ability to prevent the dangerous inflammation caused by consuming fatty foods. Now, it seems there is yet another reason to curl up with a mug of cocoa, even in the middle of a record heat wave. According to a press release from the American Academy of Neurology, drinking two cups of this seasonal beverage a day may work wonders for long-term brain health.

How? The source states that cocoa consumption may be able to improve blood flow, making it easier for oxygen to reach various parts of the brain. To establish this, Harvard Medical School researchers recruited a group of 60 older adults. None of the participants had dementia at the time of the study, but 18 did display blood flow impairments that were associated with cognitive damage.

"As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer's," lead author Farzaneh Sorond, MD, PhD, explained.

Over the course of a month, participants drank two cups of cocoa a day and were asked to complete a series of thinking and memory-based tests. During this period, the individuals with circulation issues reportedly took less time to complete these tasks, and their blood flow improved by just over 8 percent.

Though further research is necessary to determine if cocoa is truly a brain enhancer, these findings do provide a compelling reason to savor a steaming cup of hot chocolate regardless of the weather. Click here to read more information about our brain support supplements.