As winter arrives, you're probably reaching for the hot chocolate packets a little more often than usual, especially if your family has a generations old secret recipe like mine. New studies are suggesting that maybe your brain might be making the smart choice when it has a craving for some silky smooth chocolate drink.

Flavanol, a group of molecules that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, can be found in grapes, apples, tea, berries, and cocoa. Previous studies have proven that the molecules can improve brain health, and new studies even say they stimulate brain-blood oxygenation levels.

In their study, scientists did brain scans to check oxygen levels of people before and after they drank hot chocolate. They found higher oxygen levels in the brain in all of their participants after the hot chocolate, meaning there is a possibility of better brain health and function after drinking.

“Our results showed a clear benefit for the participants taking the flavanol-enriched drink – but only when the task became sufficiently complicated,” Dr. Catarina Rendeiro, lead author of the study explains. “We can link this with our results on improved blood oxygenation – if you’re being challenged more, your brain needs improved blood oxygen levels to manage that challenge. It also further suggests that flavanols might be particularly beneficial during cognitively demanding tasks”.

Read more at Study Finds

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