Interesting news for hot chocolate fans. Sipping the sweet stuff could help improve your memory, according to a new study.
The news was discovered in research from Columbia University published in Nature Neuroscience, which found a link between the flavanols from cocoa and age-related cognitive decline.
In the Columbia University trial, participants aged between 50 and 69, were given one of two specially prepared cocoa drinks, one with 900mg of flavanols and one with 10mg over three months. Those that had the drink with 900mg performed much better in cognitive tests.
Scott A. Small, who wrote part of the paper, said: "If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30 or 40-year-old."
So basically, the flavonols, which act like anti-oxidants, could help stop your brain declining as you age.
This has led some to believe that a change in diet could help prevent the onset of conditions like dementia - although unsurprisingly, dementia charities were cautious of the results and insisted more trials were needed.
And this doesn't mean you can run to the kitchen and make yourself a hot choc in the hope it will boost your brain - most cocoa products we consume have a much lower level of flavanols than the special drink prepared for the study (we doubt it came with whipped cream and marshmallows).