A heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts which is also low in meat, and full-fat dairy is related to improved middle-aged cognitive function, such as memory and thinking skills, according to a research study published in the journal “Neurology”.
The research study, directed by Claire McEvoy, Ph.D., of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, analyzed which dietary patterns, including the Mediterranean diet plan, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS), throughout early adulthood have been correlated with middle age brain function and cognitive performance.
Researchers evaluated 2,621 Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, or CARDIA, study participants with a mean age of 25 years old throughout a 30-year period. The study participants were asked about their diet at the start of the research study, after seven years, and after 20 years. The study participants’ brain function was analyzed when they were 50 and 55 years old.
For every diet, the participants of the research study were separated into one of 3 categories, low, moderate, or higher adherence, dependent on how closely they followed their diet plan. The evaluation demonstrated that the DASH diet wasn’t associated with any alteration in cognitive function. A Mediterranean diet or a APDQS diet also resulted in a lesser decline in cognitive functioning.
Individuals with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet were 46 percent less likely to experience poor memory and thinking skills than individuals with reduced adherence to this diet plan, according to the research study. Of those individuals in the adherence group, 9 percent had poor memory and thinking skills, compared to 29 percent of those 798 men and women in the adherence group.
Individuals with higher adherence to the APDQS diet were 52 percent less likely to have poor memory and thinking skills than individuals with reduced adherence to the diet plan. Of the 938 men and women in the adherence class, 6 percent had poor memory and thinking skills, compared to 32 percent of those 805 men and women in the adherence group, according to researchers.
The outcome measures of the research study were adjusted for other variables that may affect cognitive functioning, including the degree of education, as well as smoking, physical activity or exercise, and health issues like diabetes, according to the research study.
Numerous research studies have attempted to evaluate the effects of nutrition on brain health. Recent research studies, however, have demonstrated that certain diet plans, such as the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the APDQS diet, can help decrease the decline of cognitive function during middle age. The research study also demonstrated the effects these diets have on overall brain health. A balanced nutrition is essential towards optimal well-being. Before following any of the diet plans described in the following article, make sure to talk to a healthcare professional about your options.Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, healthy unsaturated fats, and fish while restricting the consumption of red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy. In contrast, the DASH diet emphasizes the consumption of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy while restricting the consumption of meat, fish, poultry, total fat, saturated fat, sweets, and sodium. The APDQS diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat fish, poultry, and alcohol while restricting the consumption of fried foods, salty snacks, sweets, high-fat dairy, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
The Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet regularly rank as some of the top diets for humans, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s yearly evaluation. According to researchers, it’s uncertain why the DASH diet didn’t result in improved cognitive functioning.
Further research studies are required to specify how nutrition, diet, and food contributes towards optimal brain health throughout our life span. According to a statement published by the American Academy of Neurology, “While we do not yet understand the perfect nutritional supplement for brain health, shifting towards a heart-healthy diet might be a relatively safe and effective approach to decrease the danger of developing health issues with memory and thinking skills throughout our middle age.”
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The information herein on "Nutrition in Middle Age Brain Function" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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