Celebrating the holidays with some wine and cheese may actually give your brain a boost. Research from Iowa State University looked at which foods that have a direct impact on our cognitive function in later years and we’re happy to say cheese was found to be the food that’s most protective against age-related cognitive problems, even later in life. Wine goes great with cheese and we’re in luck there as well because red wine was also linked to improvements in cognitive function.
For the study, researchers analyzed the diets and cognitive abilities of close to 18-hundred adults between 46 and 77 years old over a 10-year period. Participants completed The Food Frequency Questionnaire about their specific diets and answered questions to measure their ability to “think on the fly” three times during the decade.
And the research shows that along with cheese, daily intake of alcohol – especially red wine – and lamb once a week, but not other red meats, were also beneficial. But on the flip side, high levels of salt was found to be the worst offender in participants’ diets and researchers warn those already at risk of Alzheimer’s disease may need to watch their sodium intake to avoid cognitive problems.
“Depending on the genetic factors you carry, some individuals seem to be more protected from the effects of Alzheimer’s, while others seem to be at greater risk,” explains study author Brandon Klinedinst. “That said, I believe the right food choices can prevent the disease and cognitive decline altogether.
Okay, twist my arm!