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Iowa State University Scientists Say “Eat More Cheese” for Brain Health


According to new findings from researchers at Iowa State University, eating cheese may protect against age-related neurodegenerative diseases later in life. They also found that red wine helped improve cognitive functioning.

The November 2020 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published this groundbreaking research.

Auriel Willette, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the state of Iowa, led the research. Brandon Klinedinst, a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The candidate, who works in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, collaborated on the study. The research leads to large-scale analyzes that link specific foods to better cognitive functioning later in life. The research team collected data from 1,787 older adults in the UK (aged 46 to 77, at the end of the study).

They collected the data through the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource. Contains detailed health and genetic information on 500,000 UK participants. Approved researchers from around the world investigating common and deadly diseases can access the database.

Participants completed a touch screen questionnaire called the Fluid Intelligence Test (FIT) at the start of the study. These data were collected between 2006 and 2010. They also participated in two subsequent evaluations conducted between 2012-13 and 2015-16. The FIT questionnaire gives researchers an idea of ​​a person’s mental acuity.

Eating habits evaluated by the team

The research team also asked participants about their food and alcohol intake at the start of the study and in two follow-up sessions. The Food Frequency Questionnaire asked participants about their consumption of various foods, which included the following:

  • fresh fruit
  • dried fruit
  • raw vegetables and salads
  • Cooked vegetables
  • lean blue fish
  • processed meat
  • poultry
  • cow meat
  • mutton
  • Pork
  • cheese
  • bread
  • cereal
  • tea and coffee
  • beer and cider
  • red wine and white wine
  • champagne and liquor

Here are four of the main takeaways from the study:

  • More than all other foods, the researchers found that cheese protected against age-related cognitive decline, even in the elderly.
  • Daily consumption of alcohol, specifically red wine, improved cognitive function.
  • Eating lamb every week, but not other types of red meat, improved long-term cognitive ability.
  • Most people know that eating too much salt can cause health problems. People who are already predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease should watch their salt intake to reduce the risk of developing cognitive problems.

“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggested that eating cheese and drinking red wine responsibly on a daily basis is not only good for helping us deal with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also for dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems like. stop, ”Willette said. “While we took into account whether this was just due to what wealthy people eat and drink, randomized clinical trials are needed to determine whether making easy changes to our diet could significantly help our brains.”

Klinesinst added: “Depending on what genetic factors you have. Some people appear to be more protected from the effects of Alzheimer’s, while others appear to be at higher risk. With that said, I believe that the right food choices can prevent disease and cognitive decline entirely. Perhaps the miracle solution we are looking for is to improve the way we eat. Knowing what that implies contributes to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and puts this disease on a reverse trajectory ”.

Other benefits of eating cheese regularly and why you should pair it with a glass of red wine

Here are some other compelling reasons to add a little more cheese to your diet.

  • can protect against cavities
  • contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, which helps blood clot
  • contains calcium and protein, which help build strong bones and muscles
  • reduces inflammation due to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can also prevent heart disease and obesity
  • lowers blood pressure due to high calcium levels
  • contains glutathione, an antioxidant that improves brain health
  • protects blood vessels
  • improves intestinal bacteria

The main benefits of drinking red wine

Grabbing a glass of red wine as the study suggests? Here are some possible benefits.

  • reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • reduces the risk of depression
  • improves insulin sensitivity
  • reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in women
  • contains high levels of antioxidants
  • reduces bad cholesterol

Both cheese and red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive disease. Here, we’ll go over a few more ways to protect yourself against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, here are some preventive measures you can take:

1. Make sure you exercise regularly.

Get regular cardiovascular exercise that raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain and body. Scientists point to a link between physical activity and a lower risk of cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging.

2. Eat a diet low in sugar and high in heart-healthy fats.

The DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet, in particular, have been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

The DASH diet includes vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. She also advises limiting sodium, desserts, sugary drinks, and red meat.

A Mediterranean diet includes low amounts of red meat. It highlights whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil.

3. Get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep can cause problems with memory and long-term thought processing.

4. Keep your brain active.

Do crosswords and brain games, build something, or even read a book stimulate your brain.

5. Maintain social connections.

Some studies have shown that staying socially active can protect your brain. Experts from the National Institute on Aging They believe that socializing helps strengthen the connections between nerve cells in the brain.

Final thoughts: Eating cheese and drinking red wine can help prevent cognitive decline

In a pioneering study, Iowa State University scientists showed that cheese and red wine can affect cognitive acuity. Among all the foods in the questionnaire, cheese seemed to protect more against age-related cognitive decline. This research is expected to lead to other studies on the exact mechanisms behind why cheese improves brain function.

So if you’re not eating cheese yet, you may want to rethink long-term brain health. Of course, you should always choose to be human, grass-fed, and organic whenever possible.





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