Having more wine and cheese can keep you mentally alert, study finds

Winter is here and cold weather calls for fun, meals, and festivities. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for some wine. A glass of red or white wine not only makes the celebration special, it also helps keep you warm during winters. And when paired with some cubes of cheese, the combination means indulgence. But did you know that this classic wine and cheese combination could also have a positive effect on your health? Yes, you heard right.

A study, conducted by researchers at Iowa State University, found that if taken responsibly, wine and cheese can have a direct impact on our cognitive acuity in our later years and reduce cognitive decline. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The research was carried out in 1787 adults, aged between 46 and 77 years. The participants took a test called the ‘Fluid Intelligence Test’ and answered different questions about their food and alcohol consumption. They asked about their intake of fruits, vegetables, alcohol, fish, meat, cheese, bread, cereals, tea, coffee, etc.


According to a report published at Iowa State University, the survey findings were:

  • Cheese, by far, proved to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even later in life.
  • Daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was associated with improvements in cognitive function.
  • The weekly consumption of lamb, but not other red meats, has been shown to improve cognitive dexterity in the long term.
  • Consuming too much salt is bad, but only people who are already at risk for Alzheimer’s disease may need to monitor their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time.

“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggested that eating cheese and drinking red wine responsibly on a daily basis is not only good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world. It never seems to stop, “said Auriel Willette, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University.