Adding 500 milligrams of flavanols to your diet each day can potentially slow down age-related mental decline, according to a recent study. Flavanols are antioxidants found in foods like green tea, apples, berries, and cocoa. Age-related mental decline affects cognitive abilities such as thinking speed, attention, and word-finding, but it’s not the same as Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that older adults with lower flavanol intake performed worse in memory tests. However, when given daily flavanol supplements from cocoa, their performance in word-recall tests improved. The memory improvement was modest and limited to those with a less healthy diet.

Experts recommend a daily intake of 400 to 600 milligrams of flavanols to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It’s important to note that chocolate doesn’t contain significant amounts of flavonoids, so it’s necessary to consume a variety of flavanol-rich foods. The study used an optimized process to extract high levels of flavonoids from dark cocoa. To meet the recommended intake of 500 milligrams per day, include different foods containing flavanols in your diet.