Posted by: David Stewart | March 21, 2012

What you Drink affects how you Think

Good news for those who like coffee and red wine and want to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.

Bad news for those who love their bacon.

Article in today’s Portland Oregonian stating that Alzheimer’s is by and large a lifestyle disease, and that although there can be a genetic predisposition, what you eat and drink are critical. Findings are good for those who eat whole grains and fish and avoid trans fats and maintain healthy aerobic exercise.

Five cups of coffee per day seem to be a preventative factor. A little red wine also seems to keep the dementia at bay.

So if you drink coffee and red wine, you’re doing your brain a favor. Nice, although my boss says I’m demented most of the time, and there are no guarantees whatsoever, it’s a happy coincidence that my current lifestyle is perhaps extending my brain’s usefulness.

I grew up in a coffee and red wine house. Mom and Dad always had a cup of percolated joe at breakfast, and used to have one at dinner as well. In fact, I well remember him visiting Deb and I at our home in Oregon after we got married and complaining about how awful he felt, because we had served decaffeinated coffee after dinner.

The red wine was “Red Burgundy,” a jug wine from California. My current readings suggest that this wine was probably pretty lame as wine goes. I really never saw beer or hard liquor in use.

I consider all of these drinks to be acquired tastes. I defy anyone who would claim that their very first drink of black coffee or dry red wine was anything but “yuck”. Apparently they are good tastes to acquire, but they have downsides too:

  • Some people can’t tolerate these drinks for a variety of reasons. Most common seem to be stomach issues since they are both acidic. That’s a bad trade-off, stomach pain for a healthy brain!
  • There are people who suffer from addictive tendencies. Certainly an alcoholic should not drink red wine, no matter how good it might be for brain health.
  • Even without abuse, alcohol is involved with a huge number of traffic deaths. I suspect too much coffee is involved in road rage and similar dumb driving acts, just to be fair.
  • I have seen way too many examples of embarrassing behavior by people which seem to be caused by what they are drinking.

So if you eat like a Mediterranean and do aerobic exercise, coffee and red wine seem to have their place in a brain healthy diet.

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