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Ok, beverage class is back in session and today the topic is flavanols...anyone?  (me neither)  But I do know it's hot cocoa and Bailey's Irish Cream season so it's high time we find out a little more about this cold weather staple.

So looking up flavanols we find "Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds found in plants. Among flavonoids, there is a distinct sub-group known as flavanols. These flavanols are predominant in foods and beverages such as tea, apples, grapes, red wine, and cocoa....And cocoa flavanols are special on their own—they’re a unique blend of phytonutrients found only in the prized cocoa beans."

That's half the what.  What's the other half ?  What do they do?  "Research points to some pretty impressive health benefits.....helping support blood vessel health and healthy circulation. That’s good news for your heart and your overall health, since the circulatory system is the pathway for delivering vital oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues."

British researchers have found that consuming foods with lots of flavanol increases the drinker’s mental performance. Previous studies have shown they can improve brain health and this new report also finds flavanols stimulate brain-blood oxygenation levels, which can help people to think faster and perform cognitive challenges more efficiently.

Now to be fair, the studies say nothing whatsoever about Baily's Irish Cream contributing anything of value to the research.  But, it seems to work for me!  Cheers!