A growing number of studies are helping cement the link between nutrition and good brain function. Previous studies have examined the connection between certain nutritional deficiencies and cognitive decline. More recent research has examined specific nutrients and used blood biomarkers to connect vitamins with cognitive function, both good and bad.
Many past studies looking into the connection between nutrition and cognitive health have relied upon study participants’ personal reports of their nutritional habits, which is a very unreliable method of gathering nutritional information from individuals. This is why researchers in a more recent study decided upon a more objective method of examining the link between the brain and nutrition: They examined blood biomarkers to measure the levels of vitamins in 104 study participants. Memory function and thinking were also examined using MRI scans.
One thing that the researchers learned was that there are strong connections between nutrition and cognitive health. For example, those with the highest levels of B vitamins achieved higher test scores than those with lower levels. This same link was revealed for the intake of omega-3 fatty acids that had previously been connected to higher cognitive function.
In contrast, those with high blood trans fats levels experienced reduced performance in both memory and thinking tests. In addition, their MRI scans showed that their brains were shrinking more than those with lower trans fats levels. Fast foods, junk foods, and fried foods typically have higher levels of trans fats.
Nutrition Support for Cognitive Function
Now that we have more information confirming the link between proper nutrition and cognitive function, we need to make sure that we are consuming foods that support brain health. We have learned in recent years that free radical damage can take a toll on the brain and entire body. Chemical reactions going on in your body all the time can cause damaging molecules to bounce around like a pinball, damaging healthy cells. This can lead to problems like cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
One of the best ways to combat free radical damage is by consuming foods rich in antioxidants. These special molecules help to neutralize free radical damage and prevent harm from coming to brain cells. Be sure to consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Go for a good combination of colors because the skins of fruits often contain a high level of antioxidants.
Dos and Don’t
Do consume several servings of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. There are also smoothies and other products available that contain a mixture of various fruits and vegetables.
Do not consume fried foods every day. These types of foods contain high levels of trans fatty acids that can harm your heart and have a negative impact on cognitive function.
If you would like more information about how nutrition can help prevent disease and cognitive decline, including advice on tweaking your diet, please feel free to reach out for a free seminar with Naples Vitality. At our convenient location in Naples, FL, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in full and answer any questions you may have about nutrition and cognitive function. Contact us today!