How all the Christmas cheese and wine could help your brain health

Christmas is the time for indulging and while family and friends might be missing around the table this year, there’s still every reason to feast on some goodies.

For many, a cheese board with wine is a festive staple – whether it’s as a warm up on Christmas Eve, in the evening of Christmas Day or on Boxing Day.

And, contrary to popular belief, a new study suggests that all this festive cheese and wine could actually be good for you.

Research – which was published in the November 2020 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease – says that ‘responsible’ consumption of wine and cheese could help to protect brain function as you age.

After gathering and analysing dietary survey data and cognitive test results from 1,500 UK adults, over a 10-year period, researchers found that cheese was by far the most protective food and that red wine was highlighted for its links to improved brain function.

Assistant professor Willette said: ‘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.’

So there’s every reason to load up your cheese plate and pour a large glass of vino.

Surprisingly, results also found that lamb was related to ‘long-term cognitive prowess,’ but the study did stress that excessive salt was particularly bad for people already considered at-risk of Alzheimer’s.

However, it’s worth pointing out that researchers have emphasised that further studies are needed.

A report published this year by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention said research on dietary links was still emerging, but that a healthy overall diet and regular physical exercise were linked to lower risk, while excessive alcohol consumption and obesity increased the risk.

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