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Cocoa may boost brain function

Having a nice hot cup of cocoa at night not only tastes good but it might assist in decreasing the risk of dementia. A study funded by the Mars confectionary company tested the effect of daily cocoa intake on 90 elderly volunteers.

Participants were given milk-based cocoa drinks containing a high, intermediate or low level of plant compounds called flavanols, which are said to reduce the risk of dementia. The diet was restricted to eliminate other sources of flavanols from foods and beverages other than the dairy-based cocoa drink. Researchers found consuming the flavanol-rich drinks led to better scores in tests of working memory, verbal memory and task-switching.

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