Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#109 Apples and Pears

Ok, now I'm really confused. For years I've read and been told that having a pear-shaped figure was better than having an apple-shaped one. I became nicer and more accepting of my wider lower body knowing that because of pear shape, I had a better chance of not having a cardiovascular incident -- known as a heart attack in the non-medical environment. Better to have your weight below the belt then around the middle, I've been led to believe.

Well, maybe not! I read an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer that sites a study out of Northwestern University telling us that having a pear-shaped figure is bad for your brain. The article said that us pear-shaped females [who used to be oh so very cocky about our fruit tree] "experienced greater cognitive decline compared with apple-shaped women". The study reviewed almost 9000 medical records for women between the ages of 65-79. What they found was, "that for every additional point of BMI [body mass index], a woman's memory score on the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination fell by a point". Oy vey!! Not only do our memories decline from just getting older, but newly discovered, if you're pear-shaped AND obese [per your BMI score], your memory and cognitive abilities worsen....

Alrighty, now for the good news!! In yesterday's AOL Health News, I read that we can actually make ourselves smarter by making sure we eat these three things: wine, chocolate and tea. Luckily for me, I like all three... and in the order that they are considered best for increasing smartness. Amazingly, wine delivers the biggest boost. Sadly, I've begun to taper my wine drinking due to my cankle swelling. It seems that wine [both red and white, sadly] goes straight to my ankles.

Here is what AOL posted about these three wonderful indulgences:

"...And although consuming each food or drink separately helped improve memory, volunteers who regularly enjoyed all three had the keenest wits of all. But you don't have to own a wine cellar or buy stock in Hershey's to reap rewards. A little went a long way in the study. Volunteers with the sharpest wits downed as little as 1/3 ounce of chocolate, 3 ounces of wine, or 7 ounces of tea daily. Researchers credit the high-flavonoid content of these three indulgences with fighting inflammation, protecting against free-radical assaults, and enhancing communication between brain cells."

What more can I say?? I've been so proud of my pear-shaped physique... for which I can thank my genetics and my love of chocolate and wine. Since my body shape is not going to change as I get older [I mean change into an apple], I'll have to work on my smarts!! From now on, when I drink my wine and eat my chocolate, I will no longer care about my swollen cankles or my ever-expanding derriere. As the years move on, my ability to remember will amaze the younger generation, and I will become the crossword puzzle and sudoku aficionado of our family. I will never have to ask my son or daughter, "Now, where were we?" or "What did I just say?". On the other hand, as long as my husband is cognizant, sadly, I think he'll notice the physical changes more than the mental ones!

Quote of the Day: "It is sad to grow old, but nice to ripen" Brigitte Bardot

Intake of flavonoid-rich wine, tea, and chocolate by elderly men and women is associated with better cognitive test performance. Nurk, E. et al., Journal of Nutrition 2009 Jan;139(1):120-127.


Jeanie said...

I am definately and apple, but I will subscribe to the wine, chocolate, tea regimen just for good measure, even though the first two seem to go straight to my middle instead of to my brain.


Very interesting facts!!

Love your blog!!