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Drink up: Study shows hot chocolate helps your brain

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Study: Hot cocoa boosts the brain

A new study proves what you've always thought to be true: Chocolate is good for your brain!
Hot chocolate

Study:
Hot cocoa boosts
the brain

A new study proves what you've always thought to be true: Chocolate is good for your brain!

This is the best news we've heard all week! A new study published in the journal Neurology found that people who drink hot chocolate have better brain health than those who don't.

For the study, researchers asked 60 people age 72 or older to drink two cups of hot cocoa a day for a month. The results? Some participants who had previously performed poorly on memory and reasoning tests showed marked improvement in blood flow and brain function after drinking cocoa on a regular basis. Those who didn't drink hot cocoa didn't show any improvement.

The purpose of this study? Researchers want to know if an antioxidant found in chocolate — flavanol — improves brain and blood vessel function. Ultimately, they want to use the data to help people at risk of developing dementia.

Why you should eat chocolate

The hot chocolate study is hardly the only research that has gone into the delicious candy. Over the years, scientists have discovered a variety of benefits one can reap from eating chocolate:

  • Chocolate boosts heart health. Multiple studies have shown that eating dark chocolate every day can benefit one of our most vital organs: the heart. An Australian study even revealed that men who ate 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day were less likely to have a heart attack.
  • Chocolate makes babies happy... even before birth! A Finnish study showed that babies born to mothers who ate chocolate during pregnancy were less fussy.
  • Chocolate can help you balance your checkbook. OK, not exactly — but a British study found that those who regularly ate chocolate were better able to perform math than those who didn't.

So, eat up — just don't go overboard: Gastroenterologist Dustin James, M.D., recommends eating no more than half an ounce of the candy a day. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to go boost our brainpower with a Hershey bar!

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