Strong Mus­cles

MAKE YOU SMARTER

Better Nutrition - - TREND WATCH -

Meat­head. Mus­cle­brain. Dumb jock. Like many stereo­types, ones equat­ing strong mus­cles with less- than- ad­mirable in­tel­lec­tual abil­i­ties are off- base. A Fin­nish study of 338 older men and women ( av­er­age age 66) found the opposite: Those with stronger mus­cles had bet­ter men­tal func­tion, in­clud­ing bet­ter mem­ory and a greater abil­ity to process and use in­for­ma­tion.

Ex­er­cise that chal­lenges and strength­ens mus­cles helps to re­duce loss of mus­cle with age, and eat­ing pro­tein also makes a dif­fer­ence. Although it’s com­mon for din­ner to con­tain the big­gest share of the day’s pro­tein, Cana­dian re­searchers found that spread­ing daily pro­tein among three meals led to stronger mus­cles among older peo­ple, com­pared to eat­ing the same daily amount at one sit­ting. At least 18 grams of pro­tein per meal, three times per day, was an op­ti­mum amount, and could come from a com­bi­na­tion of high- pro­tein foods and pro­tein sup­ple­ments.

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