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MIND Diet: Wine & Cheese

Content by: Jamie Rinaldi RD LD

Research continues to identify ways by which red wine and cheese may support brain health.

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Wine and cheese, yes please! But really, there is actual science behind this recommendation. Please note, getting hammered while devouring a plate of nachos will not protect cognition. Consuming moderate amounts of quality food and drinks will.

🍷 Red wine may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease via multiple mechanisms. So far only a couple have been identified. Drinking red wine reduces plasma viscosity and levels of fibrinogen, a clotting protein, thereby reducing the incidence of blood clots, which are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, red wine contains resveratrol, a polyphenic compound that is believed to inhibit the age-related decline in brain function. Pop open that bottle of merlot!

🧀 Cheese, really? It has sodium and saturated fat, those are bad! The MIND diet originated in 2015, at which time full fat dairy products were deemed a no-no as part of an ideal diet. Nutritional research is always evolving and the principles of the MIND diet will, too. Although not yet incorporated into the recommendations, the latest research has linked the intake of full-fat cheese to the prevention of many chronic health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

✨ Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in cheese made from full-fat milk decrease inflammation in the brain that would otherwise pave the way for cognitive decline. Also consumption of dairy products, including cheese, is linked with a lower risk of hypertension, a known risk factor for dementia. Many cheeses, as they are fermented foods, contain probiotics, live microorganisms associated with cognitive protection and reduced levels of c-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker.

Research continues to identify ways by which red wine and cheese may support brain health. Both contain numerous micronutrients and bioactive compounds that may play a role.

✔️ Quick Tips!
Some wines and cheeses are nutritionally superior to others. Sweet red wines, like white wines, contain considerably less resveratrol than their dry red counterparts. Processed cheeses, like American cheese, cream cheese, and any cheeses that come in a spray can are not wise choices!

✔️ Next Step:
Download the PDF with recommended wines and cheeses and suggestions for your next party!

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