I love when science reveals the power of diet and proper nutrition to conquer chronic disease (as we just discussed yesterday).
And it looks like there’s more good news to report when it comes to diet and cognitive function.
In fact, Iowa State researchers discovered that three of your favorite festive treats could keep your memory razor-sharp later in life. (There’s also one you might want to avoid.)
Even better? They might already be on your holiday menu this season!
A cocktail party for the ages
The researchers looked at data from nearly 1,800 older adults—aged 46 to 77 years—in the U.K. Biobank.
All participants had taken a Fluid Intelligence Test (FIT) at the beginning of the study, with two follow-up tests over the next ten years. (The FIT gives an idea of how well patients can think on their feet.)
Subjects also provided details of their food and alcohol consumption, both at the study’s start, and in two follow-up assessments. The questionnaires gathered data about intake of specific foods—including fresh and dried fruit, raw and cooked veggies, oily and lean fish, poultry, beef, pork, lamb, cheese, bread, and cereal. Researchers also gathered data on beverages: tea and coffee, beer, cider, red and white wine, champagne, and liquor.
In the end, the results served up four key findings…
- CHEESE was the most protective food for warding off age-related cognitive decline.
- Daily consumption of ALCOHOL—red wine in particular—was also related to long-term cognitive improvements.
- Weekly consumption of LAMB delivered long-term benefits to cognition as well.
- SALT intake should only be monitored in people already at high risk for Alzheimer’s, to help dodge cognitive decline. (Of course, excessive salt isn’t especially good for anyone, so I still encourage you to be mindful. Especially if your diet is full of processed foods, which are loaded with sodium.)
Cheese, lamb, and salt are A-List approved
Obviously, this is great news for epicureans everywhere (and I definitely count myself in those ranks). It’s also proof-positive that you don’t need to eat like a rabbit or give up all the foods you love to effectively ward off aging in your body or your brain.
However, I must mention one important caveat: While red wine is certainly packed with a ton of health-boosting, memory-saving compounds—most notably, the antioxidant resveratrol—it’s also packed with sugar. (And you know how I feel about sugar… #sugarkills!)
That’s why I always recommend sticking with clear alcohols and sugar-free mixers. And instead, taking a resveratrol supplement (500 mg daily).
But you’ll be happy to hear that cheese—in particular, organic cheese made from the milk of pastured cows—and lamb have always been features of my A-List Diet.
And yes—so is salt. That’s because if you’re someone who follows a healthy diet, you’re sodium intake is likely already exactly where it needs to be, no matter how liberally you season your food!
So, whip up a cocktail, prepare a cheese plate, and get that rack of (seasoned) lamb in the oven… and make this holiday season one to remember, in more ways than one.
For additional ways to protect and restore memory, strengthen focus, and fight dementia, I encourage you to check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. To learn more about this comprehensive, online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Diet modifications—including more wine and cheese—may help reduce cognitive decline, study suggests.” Science Daily, 12/10/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201210145850.htm)