“There is mounting evidence suggesting flavonoids are powerhouses when it comes to preventing your thinking skills from declining as you get older,” notes Harvard University professor of medicine, Dr. Walter Willett.
According to Willett’s new study, published in Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology, people who consumed 600 milligrams of flavonoids per day had a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who ate only 150 milligrams per day! The study spanned nearly a quarter of a century, and included 75,000 participants who entered at an average age of 50.
Flavonoids are strong antioxidants commonly found in cocoa beans, as well as fruits and vegetables including strawberries, peppers, and oranges. “Our results are exciting because they show that making simple changes to your diet could help prevent cognitive decline,” adds Willett. Many experts believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids help protect blood supply to the brain (i.e. circulation) which in turn slows cognitive decline.
Cocoa flavanols, a subclass of flavonoids, uniquely enhance the elasticity of our arteries and veins by supporting healthy nitric oxide levels. So be sure to enjoy fruits and vegetables everyday, and don’t forget the cocoa flavanols!