Fitness

Drinking champagne may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s

We’ll cheers to that!

By Katie Skelly
Queen Elizabeth

A glass a day keeps the doctor away! Or something like that…

In news that will surely have you popping a bottle, scientists have discovered that consuming one to three glasses of bubbly a week can help prevent the onset of both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers at the University of Reading found that the phenolic compounds present in both pinot noir and pinot meuniere – two of the grapes used to make champagne - had the ability to increase spatial memory, improve cognitive function and promote learning and memory retention.

Professor Jeremy Spencer, an academic who carried out the experiment at Reading University, told the Mail on Sunday that “the results were dramatic".

He continued: "This research is exciting because it illustrates for the first time that moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning such as memory."

Though the results of the experiment were sound, the study was performed on a small scale of rodents, and while we love an excuse to have a toast just as much as the next person, more research will need to be conducted.

So until we’re certain that we can depend on champers to keep our minds sharp, we’ve popped together a short list of three ways you can improve upon your memory in the meantime.

Keep reading to discover three of the best ways to train that brain!
Keep reading to discover three of the best ways to train that brain!

1. Get your daily dose of iron
Iron is considered an essential mineral for your body’s everyday function.

While it helps to carry fresh oxygen through your blood, iron also aids in healthy immune function, energy and you guessed it, cognitive performance.

Women need 18mg of iron each day (men require 8) to ensure that, among many other things, the neurotransmitters essential for memory recall can function properly.

"A poor diet or heavy menstrual periods, such as those during perimenopause, can cause your iron levels to drop enough to affect your recall abilities, even if you don't have anemia," said Laura Murray-Kolb, PhD, an assistant professor of international health at Johns Hopkins University.

If you think you’re running a little bit low, check out these high-iron foods that aren’t meat!

Try this [ginger soy bean soup](http://www.foodtolove.com.au/recipes/ginger-soy-bean-soup-22257|target="_blank") from our friends over at Food To Love!
Try this ginger soy bean soup from our friends over at Food To Love!

2. Train your brain
Taking part in regular brain buzzing activities such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory stimulating games has been proven to increase the sharpness of the mind and reduce the risk of dementia.

Just make sure to mix up the exercises –one day a crossword, Sudoku the next – to ensure you’re really working that noggin’ of yours to its full reach.

Keep your mind sharp by using your noodle for more than just work!
Keep your mind sharp by using your noodle for more than just work!

3. Move your body

Participating in regular exercise is known as the single most effective lifestyle choice you can make when it comes to slashing your risk of dementia.

A study by researchers at Cardiff University found, carried out over 35 years, found that following just four out of five key factors could reduce the risk of dementia by 60%, while also dramatically dropping the risk of heart disease and stroke by 70%.

These five behaviours included five factors that were integral to helping avoid disease were regular exercise, not smoking, low bodyweight, healthy diet and low alcohol intake.

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