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08.07.2021


A healthy diet keeps the brain young for longer

A healthy diet keeps the brain young for longer
What is the single most important thing you can do in middle age to keep your memory sharp and your cognitive abilities up to par?
Healthy food, says a meta-study that appeared in 2015 in Climacteric.
And what does healthy food mean?
You already know that.


A healthy diet keeps the brain young for longer


Study
Based on previously published studies, an international group of researchers identified 12 factors that may slow down the aging of the brain. You see them above.

The researchers did not look at mental training. A previously published review found that cognitive training improves skills in a specific area, but it was still clear whether older people benefit from it in their daily lives. [Ageing Res Rev. 2013 Jan;12(1):263-75.]

For example, older people who want to keep their brains sharp by solving crossword puzzles are arguably getting better at crossword puzzles, according to studies. But crossword puzzles have not yet been shown to have a positive effect on the ability to complete other cognitive activities.

Aerobic training also dropped out for a similar reason. A Cochrane review published earlier showed that there was no evidence yet that the brains of older people would function better if they went for a walk a few times a week. [Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 22;(4):CD005381.]

Based on the criteria in the table below [click for a larger version], the researchers selected 24 previously published studies. They pieced together the results of those studies and re-analyzed them.


A healthy diet keeps the brain young for longer


Results
There was only one factor that kept memory sharp and improved everyday cognitive functioning: a Mediterranean diet with olive oil as the main source of fats.

In a Mediterranean diet, fish, chicken, turkey and eggs are the main sources of protein. A Mediterranean diet provides plenty of fruits and vegetables and most of the fats are unsaturated and come from vegetable oils and nuts. After all, the carbohydrates in a Mediterranean diet come from fiber-rich whole foods.

Click on the figure below for a larger version.


Meta-study: animal proteins are better muscle builders than vegetable proteins


Source:
Climacteric. 2015 Oct;18(5):678-89.

More:
Getting older? Belly button mushrooms improve motor coordination 09.04.2021
Spermidine improves memory in over-60s | Pilot study 10.09.2020
Omega-3 fatty acids protect the cognitive abilities of over 60s 27.08.2020

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Diet rich in vitamin B3 protects against Alzheimer's Strawberries protect against Alzheimer's disease Edible mushrooms halve the risk of early-stage dementia

Diet rich in vitamin B3 protects against Alzheimer's
A diet with a relatively high amount of vitamin B3 from regular foods such as chicken, peanuts and tuna protects against Alzheimer's disease.

Strawberries protect against Alzheimer's disease
American researchers at Rush University Medical Center report this in Nutrients.

Edible mushrooms halve the risk of early-stage dementia
People over 60 can halve their chance of the early phases of dementia if they eat a portion of these mushrooms twice a week.