Snowed In? Cozy Up with Hot Chocolate

by Elizabeth Siegel

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If that delicious-looking picture doesn't have you craving hot chocolate, then congratulations on having the best willpower in the world...and we'll tempt you with this instead--drinking cocoa (and eating dark chocolate) just may boost brain power. If chocolate isn't your thing, weirdo, new research also suggests red wine and (if you're really healthy) green tea may help ward off Alzheimer's. Here's the scoop:


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Cozy up with hot cocoa (yes!). Even at low concentrations, the flavanols in cocoa promote blood flow to the brain, according to a Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Recently, the flavanols have even been shown to improve cognitive performance among adults with early dementia, according to research from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Now, if only someone would discover that whipped cream made you lose weight.

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Sip red wine or green tea. Early stage research--the kind done in petri dishes in a lab--suggests that extracts from red wine (resveratrol) and green tea (EGCG) could help prevent Alzheimer's, because both extracts change the shape of beta-amyloids, a destructive protein that clings to brain cells in Alzheimer's patients. Distorting the protein prevents it from adhering, according to a Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, a recent study published in the Journal of Biochemistry and another from the University of Michigan.


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