Healthier diet means more brains
The aging process shrinks your brain, and this process causes the negative mental effects of aging - such as a decrease of memory and a decrease in the speed with which your brain solves problems. A Dutch study, which epidemiologists from Erasmus University Medical Center will soon publish in Neurology, suggests that a healthy diet inhibits that process.
The researchers made MRI scans of the brain of 4213 study participants aged 45-97 years between 2005 and 2015. Because the study participants had told what they ate, the researchers knew their diet fairly precisely.
Based on the list below, the researchers gave the quality of the participants' diet a score between 0 and 14.
The better the diet quality, the larger the brain volume. With every point the researchers gave to the quality of the diet, the brain content of the study participants increased slightly.
"There are many complex interactions that can occur across different food components and nutrients and according to our research, people who ate a combination of healthier foods had larger brain tissue volumes", summarizes research leader Meike Vernooij in a press release. [sciencedaily.com May 16, 2018]
"People with greater brain volume have been shown in other studies to have better cognitive abilities, so initiatives that help improve diet quality may be a good strategy to maintain thinking skills in older adults."
Neurology. 2018 May 16. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005691.
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