Don't Forget the Cocoa

Okay, so you look like Adonis, but you can't remember where your car keys are at. Maybe it's time you ate something chocolate? According to newly published research, flavonols found in cocoa enhance memory, especially when combined with exercise. Comparing two different groups of mice: a control group fed their standard diet and an experimental group receiving a diet fortified with a flavonol called epicatechin, researchers found that the group that ate the epicatechin-supplemented diet had better memories and greater blood vessel development in the area of the brain associated with memory. Mice that exercised on a wheel for 2+ hours per day, remembered things even longer and had the most significant brain development.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:
Epicatechin and other flavonols have previously been shown to improve cardiovascular health and blood flow to the brain. This study suggests that an epicatechin-rich diet (besides cocoa, flavonols are found in tea, grapes, berries, and other plant foods) combined with exercise promotes beneficial changes to the brain that may help reduce the risk/effects of cognitive disorders and illnesses. So, the next time you go for a protein bar or shake, choose something chocolate.
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