According to a recent study, eating healthy helps the brain function at a better capacity as we grow older.
The new research was conducted by a team of scientists from the McMaster University and revealed that people worldwide who ate a Mediterranean diet in their middle age helped reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in their life.
At first, the researchers thought that there is a special food that was common in all the diets that had this “special power” of keeping the brain going for longer. But as it turned out, there wasn’t just one food.
Just like in other health areas, it’s not just one thing that is good or bad for us, but a combination of different things.
And this applies whether it’s about mental or body health.
In order to come to this conclusion, the scientists analyzed data about the health habits of more than 28,000 people, ages 55 and over.
The people were part of two international studies that was done in 40 countries.
The researchers rated how healthy the diet of each person was in general.
Experts say that a healthy diet consists of a high quantity of fruits, vegetables, nuts, soy product, nuts, and a moderate intake of alcohol.
An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, consists of higher quantities of deep-fried foods, sweets and red meat.
The study lasted for about five years, at the end of which, approximately 4,700 people started to experience what researchers call cognitive decline.
14% of the 5,700 people who ate a healthy diet started experiencing cognitive decline, while 18% of the 5,460 people with the least healthy diet started to experience the same thing.
Although it doesn’t sound as if there is a significant difference between the people who ate healthier foods and those who chose to eat less healthy, the researchers say that it’s actually an approximately 24% reduction in risk for those who have a healthy diet.
And if the results are extrapolated to the millions of American people who experience cognitive decline without developing dementia (more than 5 million), choosing to eat healthier could save many people from developing it.
Andrew Smyth, one of the scientists involved in the study, said that it’s not only one single healthy food that protects the brain, but a combination of foods that work together to keep it running.
The findings of the new study were published in the journal Neurology.
Image Source: ekladata