A recent study in the journal Hypertension found that elderly people with mild cognitive impairment who were given dietary flavanols from chocolate did better on cognition tests.
A recent study in the journal Hypertension found that elderly people with mild cognitive impairment who were given dietary flavanols from chocolate did better on cognition tests. The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa or cacao, and the compounds most closely associated with benefits are flavanols, which are in the category of phytochemicals. Although all chocolates contain cacao, many also contain sugar and other ingredients.
"For health benefits, the higher the cacao content the better," say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new books TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH) and The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH). "It is important that if you are eating chocolate for potential health reasons, the product you choose should be at least 70 percent cacao. The higher the cacao percentage, the more flavanols and antioxidants it will contain."
"There are other ways you can get more cacao in your diet," adds the Griesels. "Cocoa or cacao powders are widely available for use in drinks and as an ingredient in other dishes. Again, just be sure to choose a high-quality product and don't overdo it."
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