A recent study has declared drinking just 2 cups of Coffee a day can reduce your Dementia and Alzheimer's risk by up to 26%. As exciting as this may sound there is another statistic embedded in this story that should have everyone concerned.
Lower your risk by 26%
A recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Health Partners Institute for Education and Research in Minnesota, and Harvard Medical School has declared drinking just 2 cups of Coffee a day can reduce your Dementia and Alzheimer's risk by up to 26%.
It was widely reported in the media with great fervour. And why not, we love our coffee and this gives us an excuse to drink more of it right into our old age.
But there's more to the story
There was another statistic mentioned with this story that blew my mind. There is currently over 300,000 people living with dementia in Australia and that number is expected to grow to almost 900,000 by 2050.
Wait what was that again 900,000?
So hang on a moment. Our dementia population is going to soar almost 300% in the next 34 years. As good as coffee is I think that's the story we should be talking about. They even have a category for 'Young Onset Dementia' for those as young as their 30's.
How is it possible that a tragic degenerative condition like Dementia can be growing at this rate? It certainly got me thinking. Being the analytical geek I am, I start going through all the possible causes for such a rise. It can't be that we're living longer because our life expectancy isn't rising at a rate commensurate with the rate of Dementia rise.
So what does that leave us? Our environment? Our Lifestyle? What is it about those areas that could be inducing this kind of mental deterioration?
The factors could include: Diet, Personal Care & Household Products, Exercise, Stress.
Diet impacts on brain health
Our diet can impact on brain health significantly. A diet high in Omega-3's has long been associated with brain health. However in most modern diets the ratio of our Omega 3-6-9 oils is way off causing a significant impact on our overall health:
"over-abundance of omega-6 fatty acids can actually do us harm, promoting inflammation instead of decreasing it. And, many scientists today believe the main culprit behind the high incidences of chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity and cancer is the extremely imbalanced intake of omega-6 versus omega-3 fats." - Source: University Health News
We should have an omega 6:3 ratio somewhere in the range of 1:1-4:1 but in western countries like Australia our diet is thought to be producing a range of 10:1-20:1. There are many common foods that upset our Omega balance. Things like eating grain fed meat is one and processed foods containing 'vegetable oils' is another. One surprising area is Eggs. In some studies Cage Chickens are producing eggs with Omega Ratio's at 20:1 compared with their Organic and legitimately free ranged counterparts.
So the tip here is Organically raised meat, chicken and eggs which are not fed grains and a diet low on processed foods to eliminate those 'vegetable' oils.
Processed foods that impact brain health
Highly processed foods also have an impact on brain healthy and memory loss. These include:
White Foods - White Bread, Rice and Pasta and Sugar.
Processed Foods - Heavily processed and preserved deli cuts and meats. 'Nitrates' which are the preservative are a big culprit here.
Bad Fats - Like Hydrogenated Fats found in Margarines and Trans-fats found in fast foods.
Most Beers - OOPS did I just say Beer? Yes unfortunately most Beers contain Nitrites which are linked to Alzheimers.
Good Brain Foods
Olive oil and olives, avocados and leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, good oily fish like Salmon or Mackerel, Berries and dark-skinned fruits, chocolate (Well really it's the Cacao), Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil oh yes and of course COFFEE :)