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Latest Scientific Research Shows That Coffee Is Actually Good For Your Brain

Latest Scientific Research Shows That Coffee Is Actually Good For Your Brain

There’s been a lot of coffee-related news floating around the Internet lately. Most of the studies cited in news articles attempt to highlight the benefits or risks of consuming caffeine on a regular basis. Is too much harmful to our health? Can just the right amount of it significantly improve the quality of our lives as we age?

We’ve read about evidence of how drinking coffee affects blood pressure, energy, our risk of developing diabetes and even our risk of death. Most experts agree that, like many commonly consumed substances, coffee is pretty good to us in moderation. A new study out of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease now shows us evidence that drinking coffee in moderate amounts is even better for us, our brains specifically, than we originally thought.

What is mild cognitive impairment, and what does coffee have to do with it?

We have all heard of the ageing population or perhaps our own loved ones developing debilitating diseases that affect the way they think and behave. Before developing more severe conditions, however, some develop a cognitive decline called mild cognitive impairment slightly more severe than what is associated with normal ageing, but much less severe than diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

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Mild cognitive impairment develops as a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to Mayo Clinic, developing mild cognitive impairment actually increases a person’s risk of developing more severe cognitive disorders.

It turns out drinking a few daily doses of coffee can actually reduce a person’s risk of developing these mild problems related to memory, language and thinking.

How do we know? Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.

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The study

Researchers studied the relationship between average amount of coffee consumed, either changing or constant, and incidence, or occurrence, of mild cognitive impairment in 1,445 “cognitively normal” subjects aged 65-84 years.

Some participants started out consuming a low amount of coffee per day, one cup or fewer, and increased their consumption to one to two cups per day. Other participants consumed a constant amount of one to two daily cups of coffee for the duration of the study.

Results implied that participants who had a constant habit of consuming one to two cups of coffee per day, or a daily moderate amount, had a reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment compared to those who either increased or decreased their consumption.

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What’s the science behind this relationship?

There’s a reason many of us can’t function in the morning without a cup or two of coffee pulsing through our systems. When caffeine enters our bodies, it prevents us from absorbing a certain chemical that normally blocks other excitatory brain chemicals. In much simpler terms, drinking coffee gives us more energy and has the potential to, over time in consistent, moderate amounts, slow age-related mental decline as we get older. With those excitatory brain chemicals free to roam on a regular basis, our brains will most likely remain in much better shape longer than they would if those chemicals remained blocked.

Here’s the key takeaway

The study described above found no association between high or low levels of coffee consumption and reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which means consuming only moderate amounts of coffee per day, one to two cups, had this effect. So if you’re planning to rely on coffee alone to keep your mind sharp as you age moderation, as always, is the best strategy.

Many studies have managed to show us coffee in the morning isn’t the worst possible habit to uphold. What’s important to remember is that too much of a good thing isn’t so good after all – but just the right amount, in this case, can earn you a healthier, clearer mind the older you get.

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Featured photo credit: David Joyce via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

10 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew

Dragon what? No, this is not a medieval-times myth where knights save princesses from fire-breathing dragons and win the coveted dragon fruit from a magical tree. That said, real dragon fruit does contain some pretty magical benefits that can make you feel like a beautiful princess or a knight in shining armor.

In tropical and subtropical regions in South America and Asia, the dragon fruit flourishes and grows in abundance. Appropriately named, the dragon fruit’s outer skin is cactus-like, resembling that of the scales of a mythical dragon. Considered a cactus plant, its vibrant green and reddish-pink hues indicate that the fruit is full of nutrients, while the creamy white flesh spotted with black seeds gives way to many rich and natural properties.

Video Summary

Also known as pitaya, these fun-looking fruits contain around 60 calories each and are rich in vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. And that’s not all. This is definitely one of the best “super fruits” out there.

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    Photo credit: Source

    1. Better Than Cheerios

    Dragon fruit has an extremely low amount of cholesterol, which ultimately helps the body break down this fruit quickly, keeping you happy and healthy. It’s the perfect fruit to maintain your weight and satisfy your sweet tooth.

    2. Heart Healthy

    Americans have increasing problems maintaining cardiovascular health. Fortunately, this fruit has an amazing superpower that helps decrease bad cholesterol levels and replenish good levels. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, helping the heart stay in great condition.

    3. Fill Up On Fiber

    To clean up your digestive system, eat a dragon fruit. They have a high fiber content, which can assist with poor digestion and constipation. Eating the flesh and seeds, which contain good protein, will keep your body fortified and satisfied.

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    4. Active Antioxidants

    To rid the body of free radicals and cancer-producing properties, you can eat foods that contain antioxidants. Believe it or not, dragon fruit is giving acai berries a run for their money.

      Photo credit: Source

      5. Fights Diabetes

      The high amount of fiber in dragon fruit can ultimately help regulate diabetes, as it can stabilize blood sugar levels by suppressing sugar spikes. However, with any dietary changes or modifications, always consult your doctor to make sure this is a good food for you.

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      6. Reduces Signs of Aging

      Eating a dragon fruit with its rich antioxidants can keep the skin tight and young. You can even make a face mask using the fruit combined with honey as a natural alternative to anti-aging masks.

      7. Treating Colored Hair

      Dragon fruit juice is an excellent agent for treating colored hair. By simply putting the juice or a conditioner containing dragon fruit on your scalp, you can protect your chemically treated or colored hair. This will keep the hair follicles open, allowing your hair to breathe and remain healthy and smooth.

      8. Suppresses Arthritis

      Arthritis directly affects the joints and causes severe irritation and immobility. Adding dragon fruit to your diet can help you fight these ailments. Dragon fruit’s benefits for people suffering from arthritis are so great that it’s commonly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory fruit.”

      9. Avoiding Acne

      This treatment is not just for teenagers. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit becomes a great topical ointment. Turn a slice of dragon fruit into a paste and apply it to your reddened areas on your face or skin, then rinse with water. For best results, use twice daily.

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      10. Soothe Sunburned Skin

      By combining dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey, you can create a compound much like aloe that can soothe burned skin. Abundant in vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturize sunburned skin and release heat from the affected area.

        Photo credit: Source

        How Can You Make Dragon Fruit a Part of Your Daily Routine?

        Tired of the everyday apple or banana? Go ahead, you get permission to pick up the exotic fruit because it’s so good it should be forbidden. Dragon fruit is so easy to eat that all you need is a spoon to dig out its goodness, similar to a kiwi. Or, you can easily bite it right off of the peel for a quick fix. One dragon fruit will suffice as a snack, but soon you’ll be craving more. Try some of these recipes that call for dragon fruit here.

        Just remember, even though they look beautiful on your counter, they are much more than a simple decoration. Reap the benefits of dragon fruit!

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