Trifecta of Red Wine, Tea, and Chocolate Shown to Improve Cognitive Function in the Elderly
I was just reading the article, “Intake of Flavonoid-Rich Wine, Tea, and Chocolate by Elderly Men and Women Is Associated with Better Cognitive Test Performance,” and thought this may be the world’s BEST natural medicine news to ever report.
Forget the elderly *wink wink*, this article is a great reminder about picking our “poisons” wisely.
If we are going to have one, two, or maybe even three vices, they should all be rich sources of antioxidants, such as DARK chocolate, green or black tea, and organic red wine in moderation.
Here is the quick and dirty on the latest research:
“In a cross-sectional study, we examined the relation between intake of 3 common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea) and cognitive performance. 2031 participants (70–74 y, 55% women) recruited from the population-based Hordaland Health Study in Norway underwent cognitive testing. A cognitive test battery included the Kendrick Object Learning Test, Trail Making Test, part A (TMT-A), modified versions of the Digit Symbol Test, Block Design, Mini-Mental State Examination, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Poor cognitive performance was defined as a score in the highest decile for the TMT-A and in the lowest decile for all other tests. A self-reported FFQ was used to assess habitual food intake. Participants who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not. Participants who consumed all 3 studied items had the best test scores and the lowest risks for poor test performance. The associations between intake of these foodstuffs and cognition were dose dependent, with maximum effect at intakes of ~10 g/d for chocolate and ~75–100 mL/d for wine, but approximately linear for tea. Most cognitive functions tested were influenced by intake of these 3 foodstuffs. The effect was most pronounced for wine and modestly weaker for chocolate intake. Thus, in the elderly, a diet high in some flavonoid-rich foods is associated with better performance in several cognitive abilities in a dose-dependent manner.”
What does this mean? It means that if you are going to have a vice you should shoot for a healthy one!
I doubt there could ever be better news for me to report!
Forget the elderly, I know this particular trifecta of joy makes me feel good too! We all need a little treat every now and then, and enjoying these treats in moderation is a normal and healthy part of our culture.
So what is this research really proving? Are these food miracle foods?
Are these foods amazing?
Yes and No
No they are not going to save you from that which ails you and cure dementia and Alzheimer’s, but they are likely preventing disease through the standard disease preventative mechanism. Antioxidants protecting free radicals. What this trifecta share in common is that they are antioxidant rich. Flavanoids in these foods are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants mean anti-inflammation, which means anti-aging.
That is the short version of that story, but the moral of it is that you should pick your “vices” wisely. Just like Indiana Jones knew that the “Holy Grail” was not some flashy supplement, or bedazzled shiny over-sized goblet….I know…and you know…we all know that the REAL fountain of youth is that simple wooden cup, and when it comes to health, the fountain of youth is antioxidants, exercise, sleep, vegetables, and superfoods.
Choose your antioxidants, and your vices wisely my friends. Enjoy the Trifecta. Enjoy the Trifecta of fabulosity organically if possible especially red wine because as I stated in my article “Best Organic Cabernet 2008,” the cleaner we can keep our vices, the more we can make them work for us, as was perfectly demonstrated by the latest research.
Enjoy 1-2 glasses of red wine (depending on your size), a few cups of black (or green) tea, and 1-2 oz of dark chocolate daily (depending on your weight and health condition) moderately and think about how today you can make all the “vices” in your life as pure and natural as possible.
Remember that we should be able to enjoy life a little bit too while being healthy, according to the 80/20 model of health.
What is your favorite healthy “vice?”