A new study has discovered that regularly drinking cocoa can improve neurovascular blood flow in elderly people which in turn helps to boost their memory retention. In other words, a hot chocolate a day could keep the doctor away...
In a small-scale study published in the American Academy of Neurology Journal, researchers studied the effects of cocoa consumption on sixty elderly people aged between 72.9 and 78.3 years old. Participants were tasked with drinking two cups of cocoa per day for 30 days, with ultrasounds and basic memory tests keeping tabs on their mental fitness.
Of those who suffered from impaired blood flow, a massive 88 percent saw improvements in blood flow and cognitive test results throughout the course of the study:
There is a strong correlation between neurovascular coupling [AKA blood flow to the brain required for certain tasks] and cognitive function, and both can be improved by regular cocoa consumption in individuals with baseline impairments. Better neurovascular coupling is also associated with greater white matter structural integrity.
Participants whose blood flow was normal at the beginning of the study also showed improvement, with some 37% showing signs of increased blood flow. So if you're worried about dementia, it probably can't hurt to go mental with cocoa.