These two adult beverages -- one that wakes people up in the morning and another that relaxes them in the evening -- may help keep the mind young: coffee and red wine.
According to research, these two beverages -- if enjoyed in moderation -- might help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The news is no reason to start a coffee or wine habit. But if they're already part of your beverage repertoire, you might be interested to know that both seem to contain ingredients that could help ward off dementia. Animal studies show that something in coffee may help trigger the release of a special growth factor -- granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) -- that recruits cells from bone marrow to help sweep out beta-amyloid deposits. (Those are the pesky plaques that cause Alzheimer's symptoms.) And the polyphenols in red wine may have similar benefits, reducing levels of peptides that contribute to Alzheimer's plaques. (Do you forget things simply because you're distracted? Find out what the symptoms of adult ADHD are.)
The substances in coffee and wine may also help strengthen the brain, either by helping it forge new connections or protecting it from the neurotoxic effects of Alzheimer's plaques. Ready for a younger, sharper mind? Try these rules for the road if you're a coffee or red wine drinker:
- Make it fully leaded. In studies, decaf coffee didn't provide the same benefits. Of course, if you're caffeine sensitive, coffee probably isn't for you at all. (Could coffee help you dodge diabetes?)
- Enjoy responsibly. Heavy or binge drinking -- even with polyphenol-rich red wine -- is linked to worse cognitive performance. Limit yourself to one drink a day if you're a woman, or one to two drinks a day if you're a man. (Not a drinker? Try this heart-healthy wine substitute.)
Take the first steps to growing younger and healthier with the RealAge Test.