In addition to consuming one cup of coffee or one glass of red wine daily, drinking cocoa has also been proven to be an effective way of slowing down cognitive impairment in old age, researchers say.
One of the reasons why the cocoa plant has such a positive effect on the human brain is that it contains naturally-occurring antioxidants called flavanols. These chemicals contribute to reducing the amount of oxidizing free radicals found in the body, therefore limiting their damaging effects.
Flavanols are especially useful in limiting the development of mild cognitive impairment, a condition that oftentimes precedes full-blown dementia and Alzheimer's disease, PsychCentral
“This study provides encouraging evidence that consuming cocoa flavanols, as a part of a calorie-controlled and nutritionally-balanced diet, could improve cognitive function,” experts from the University of L’Aquila, in Italy, write in the latest issue of the journal Hypertension.