Chocolate Fix?

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Story Updated: Aug 9, 2013

Yes, it's still summer, but it's the perfect time to make a toast to hot chocolate! A cup or two a day may help you maintain your memory in your senior years.

Research, just published in the journal Neurology, measured the power of flavanol-rich hot chocolate on the brain.

The study included 60 seniors...with an average age of 73. All were asked to drink two cups of hot cocoa a day for a month.... and weren't allowed any other chocolate.

Each participant went through a series of memory and thinking tests, all while having ultrasounds of the brain to track blood flow.

18 of the participants showed impaired blood flow at the start of the study... but by the end, after drinking the hot chocolate, they experienced an 8-point-3-percent improvement to the working areas of the brain.

Their scores on memory tests also improved.

No change was noted in those who started out with regular blood flow.

Bottom line, a daily cup or two of creamy hot cocoa may be a worthwhile memory booster...no matter what the season.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com