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A Glass Of Red Wine A Day Slows Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say

A Glass Of Red Wine A Day Slows Cognitive Decline, Researchers Say

We often see conflicting studies about food all over the Internet. One day cow’s milk is good for you, the next cow’s milk is harmful to your health. But, when it comes to wine, it seems people across the board are in agreement: a glass of red wine a day is good for your health. In fact, red wine could do more than just enhance your food. It can preserve your memory for longer, researchers say.

Scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago released findings of a new study funded by the National Institute on Aging that was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The study showed that just one drink of red wine a day may delay dementia in those at risk from the disease and keep the mind sharp.

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As you may already know, cognitive decline is a normal part of aging.

“Everyone experiences decline with aging; and Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia’s cases,” Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, said in a statement about the new study.

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Morris and her team of researchers reported that elderly adults who strictly followed a diet called MIND, described as a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet that emphasizes eating plant-based foods, were 7.5 years younger cognitively over a period of nearly five years than those who adhered to the diet the least.

“We have been studying the effects of nutrition on dementia for 20 years and felt that it was time to consider an overall diet that incorporated all of the science on nutrition and the brain,” explained Morris.

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To do so, the researchers carried out an observational study of 960 adults with an average age of 81.4 years at 40 retirement community and senior public housing units in the Chicago area over a period of 4.7 years. They uncovered a slower decline in mental ability among the seniors who adhered most closely to MIND, or Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

This diet focuses on foods known to provide the greatest protection from cognitive decline. These foods include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, fish, beans, nuts, the occasional chicken, and wine. Followers of the diet limit the amount of the five unhealthy food groups — red meat, butter, cheese, stick margarine, sweets, pastries, and fried or fast foods — that they eat. The only fruits in MIND are berries.

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“The study findings suggest that the MIND diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age,” Morris said. In an earlier report, the researchers announced that the diet developed at the Rush University Medical Center may also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well.

Other studies on cognitive decline have also shown that wine contains high levels of flavonoids, natural compounds that have an antioxidant effect, which helps with good blood circulation and improved cognitive function. These flavonoids are thought to work by mopping up excessive amounts of harmful chemicals that are naturally produced by the body, as well as making the blood less likely to clot.

While this particular study by Morris and her team only shows correlation and not causation, we’ll take it as an excuse to hunker down with a glass of the good stuff. Enjoying a glass of red wine in moderation may help with cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, after all. That’s good enough reason for all of us to feel good about enjoying a glass of red wine every day.

Featured photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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