In the News: The Best Diet for Your Brain, How Lack of Sleep Can Increase Your Alzheimer’s Risk, and the Powers of Chicken Soup

A low-fat diet may be what’s best for your brain. An animal study out of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands found that eating a low-fat diet in addition to limiting calories was more effective than exercise in terms of reducing inflammation in the brain. The study took a look at inflammation that causes microglia which is “a type of immune cell whose dysfunction has been linked to development problems and diseases of the brain and central nervous system.” This study is not conclusive and needs more research to observe factors such as the impact of changing diet to low-fat if that’s not something that had been done since birth. For more information, check out this anti-inflammatory grocery list. (MNT)

If you’re frequently sleepy during the day you might have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. A study published in JAMA Neurology looked at almost 3,000 older people and 22 percent had problems with being tired during the day. The lead in the study found that “people who reported excessive daytime sleepiness at the start of the study were more likely to show increases in amyloid in their brains as the study progressed. These people also tended to show faster deposition of the protein than those who did not report daytime drowsiness. What’s more, the amyloid was heaviest in two regions of the brain: the anterior cingulate and cingulate precuneus, which typically show high levels of amyloid in people with Alzheimer’s.” While more research needs to be done, getting a good night’s sleep is never a bad idea. (TIME)

Evidence finds that you should have chicken soup when you’re sick. While there aren’t concrete studies that have definitively proven chicken soup is a cure-all, certain research has shown that the elements that make up the soup could be helpful in fighting illness. One study found that the soup may have anti-inflammatory properties, another observed that spices used and steam from the soup can help clear congestion, and the ingredients have beneficial vitamins and minerals that can help your whole body. It’s not completely proven yet, but next time you feel under the weather make sure to eat chicken soup. (CNN)