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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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