Food Combos for Better Cognition

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with fresh blueberries and cup of coffee. toning. selective focusYour dietary choices and their impact on your health is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, adding some blueberries to your pancakes and syrup every morning doesn’t make it a healthy breakfast.

But when those same blueberries are added to oatmeal or plain Greek yogurt with walnuts, they are part of a healthy breakfast. If the rest of the day’s food choices fall in line—lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, seafood, etc.—you’re likely to get some big benefits.


One of the biggest might be improved cognitive function, better memory, and a lower risk for dementia.

A recent study uncovered how food combinations played a role in preventing dementia, showing that it’s just not what you eat, but how you group, or “network,” food.

There is plenty of research showing how a Mediterranean or MIND style diet can protect memory and brain health. But this new research showed that food networks can play a varying role even where specific food choices do not.

Researchers used surveys from study participants to identify how food choices influence dementia risk. They found that although individual food choices didn’t vary greatly between participants, their “food networks” did.

When processed meats were a food “hub,” they were typically paired with starchy foods like potatoes, sugary snacks like cakes, and alcohol. As you might guess, people who commonly paired these items were more prone to dementia and cognitive decline.

On the other hand, people who had food networks more likely to include a diverse array of foods, including meat, vegetables, fruit, seafood, and other “healthy foods” were less likely to develop dementia.

It’s not that the people with better health outcomes fully avoided the same foods like the ones who developed dementia, or vice versa, but overall network inclusion and diversity varied.


Overall eating patterns, therefore, seemed to be the determining factor in dementia risk, and something that is relatively simple to modify for most people.

To arrive at their results, researchers asked more than 600 people in France what they ate, then followed up over five years during medical checkups. 209 participants developed dementia by the time the follow-up period concluded.

Although individual foods have been identified to provide specific benefits, these benefits are typically only as strong as your overall diet.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.