A hot chocolate a day keeps the doctor away

15 August 2012
A hot chocolate a day keeps the doctor away
A new study published in Hypertension shows that drinking a hot chocolate every day may help older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Not all of the hot chocolate are the same, of course: it is the flavanols (a class similar to flavonoids) that are responsible of keeping the brain health, a kind of antioxidants found in rich cocoa. Of course these antioxidant are even more abundant in every kind of dark chocolate.

"[Flavanols] could be one element of a dietary approach to the maintaining and improving not only of cardiovascular health, but also specifically brain health," write the researchers.

The health benefits of flavanols have been studied extensively in humans and in animal models. Reduction in atherosclerotic plaques was seen in animal models. Reduction in carcinogenesis was seen in vitro.Flavanols, usually from cocoa beans or tea, are believed to keep arteries flexible, increase small vessel circulation, reduce blood pressure and protect against sunburns.

Of course chocolate shouldn't be seen as a dietary supplement, but this study is a confirmation that a healthy diet should include small amounts of many different foods containing antioxidants and flavanols, like cocoa, wine, tea, some fruit and vegetables.

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