New research has found that a healthy diet is associated with a healthy brain during middle age. This information suggests that food choices in midlife may help reduce the risk of dementia and other degenerative brain disorders as people age.
The study conducted by Deacon University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition studied eating habits and brain volume from nearly 20,000 participants in the UK Biobank. All participants were adults aged between 40 to 65.
The participants in the study completed diet recall analysis and had MRIs to assess brain volume. Diet quality was analyzed, including the Mediterranean diet score. Researchers looked at how closely people’s diets aligned with the Mediterranean diet, as this particular dietary pattern has been previously discovered in health news in relation to brain health.
Researchers also looked at how well people’s diets matched dietary guidelines, including those from the World Health Organization (WHO). These recommendations include eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, grains, lean meat, or alternatives while avoiding processed or junk food.
The Mediterranean diet encourages people to eat whole grains and fish and limit red meat consumption. Although researchers found this dietary pattern to be beneficial, it was just as helpful to eat the varied diet recommended by the WHO.
Overall, middle-aged adults who ate a healthy variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, and good oils, had more gray matter and larger brain volume than those who had a lower quality diet.
No Blood Test
Since there is no blood test that can detect dementia during midlife, brain volume is an important indicator. Previous research has shown that brain shrinkage in midlife can precede dementia.
Due to this knowledge about brain volume, this research was able to indicate that diet quality needs to be addressed well before old age so that people can give themselves the best chance of keeping healthy brain function. By adopting lifelong healthy eating habits during middle age, people may be able to help protect against neurodegeneration as they age.
Consuming a healthy diet can also help to ensure a healthy colon. And for those with IBS, a healthy diet can help reduce symptoms. So, it is easy to see how consuming a healthy diet can be beneficial for a healthy brain and keep many chronic diseases away. Previous research has shown the importance of a healthy diet for diabetes and heart disease.
Along with a healthy diet, your best defence against cognitive decline is making sure you have the essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your brain healthy. Our SMART Pill contains nine ingredients to support, nourish, and maximize brain health and cognitive function.