When doctors at Harvard Medical School get behind chocolate you know it’s not a myth. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, has high concentrations of antioxidants called flavanols, which possess strong heart- and brain-protecting properties. Drinking flavanol-rich cocoa increases blood flow to the brain. That’s major because over time, a gradual slowdown of blood flow can starve the brain of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in structural damage, cognitive decline and dementia. Choose dark chocolate high in flavanols and low in calories and fat. Your best bet: Make drinks using a high-flavanol cocoa mix, water or nonfat milk (hot or cold) and little or no sugar or sugar substitute. Mars offers a low-calorie cocoa mix called CirkuHealth that is a good choice.
Tips excerpted from: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss by Jean Carper from Little, Brown and Company