Chowing down on a pile of candy bars may not be a very good idea, but one ingredient in chocolate might actually help you come up with good ideas.

New research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension found improved mental function in elderly people who drank a lot of powdered cocoa drinks. An ingredient called flavonols might be behind the benefit, the researchers said. Flavonols – also found in tea, grapes, red wine and apples – have been associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

The researchers tested 90 elderly participants with mild cognitive impairment and found that participants drinking higher levels daily of flavanol-rich drinks had significantly higher overall cognitive scores than those participants drinking lower-levels..

Insulin resistance, blood pressure and oxidative stress also decreased in those drinking high and intermediate levels of flavanols daily.

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