Changing some of our dietary habits could help curb cognitive decline.
That’s what a study, led by American researchers on British participants, suggests, indicating that red wine and cheese could help fight age-related cognitive problems.
Everyone knows that the food we eat can have a positive or detrimental effect on certain aspects of our health.
But a new survey showcases a link between cognitive acuity and the food we eat as we get older.
For once, the highlighted foods are not fruit and vegetables (known health boosters), but wine and cheese.
This study, recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, was led by Iowa State University researchers.
They analysed data for 1,787 adults aged between 46 and 77.
All the participants were part of the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database containing in-depth genetic and health information from 500,000 British participants.
These participants took intelligence tests to establish a baseline, then had two follow-up assessments.
The whole process took place between 2006 and 2016.
The researchers studied the data after it was all collected.
Participants also had to give information concerning their food and alcohol consumption in the beginning of the study and during the two follow-up meetings.
They had to detail not only their fruit and vegetable consumption, but also that of meat, cereal, bread, fish, tea, coffee and alcohol (beer, cider, wine, champagne and liquor).
The researchers found that cheese seemed to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive impairment.
A daily consumption of alcohol, in particular red wine, was associated with improved cognitive function.
They also concluded that eating lamb (but no other types of red meat) once a week, could improve long-term cognitive ability.
The researchers observed that excessive consumption of salt was bad, especially for people showing a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current Covid-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down,” said Dr Auriel Willette, who co-headed the study.
The research team would now like to launch clinical random trials to determine if simple food changes could have a significant impact on the brain.
This could contribute to a better anticipation of cognitive decline, as well as a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. – AFP Relaxnews