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Healthy Eating May Improve Brain Function

January 3, 2012 by  

Healthy Eating May Improve Brain Function

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to maintain a more healthful diet, it could have a long-term, positive impact on not only your physical health but your mental health, too.

New research suggests that elderly people with higher levels of several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids in their blood perform better on mental-acuity tests and experience less of the brain shrinkage commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with “junk food” diets displayed opposite results.

A first-of-its-kind study published in Neurology focused on blood nutrient levels, unlike previous studies that based findings on questionnaires about subjects’ diets and relied on flawed memories of what they had eaten.

Researchers found that people who had the highest levels of vitamins B, C, D, E and the healthy oils commonly found in fish in their blood were mentally sharper than those with lower levels of the vitamins and oils.

“The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers,” said Maret Traber, a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and co-author on the study. “I’m a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better.”

Findings in the study also suggest:

The most favorable cognitive outcomes and brain size measurements were associated with two dietary patterns: high levels of marine fatty acids and high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E.

Consistently worse cognitive performance was associated with a higher intake of the type of trans-fats found in baked and fried foods, margarine, fast food and other less-healthy dietary choices.

Cognitive changes related to different diets may be due both to impacts on brain size and cardiovascular function.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • eddie47d

    When I worked I ate more than 5 serving of fruit and vegetables every day since I packed my own lunch. I still eat fruit often since I retired but I had noticed the lack of vegetables in my diet. We had broccoli last night after 4 nights of not having any vegetables. So it’s good to be reminded to stay on track.

  • s c

    Eating ‘right’ has never been a part of American culture. If it was an entrenched habit, America would no doubt be a healthier nation. Unfortunately, what passes for ‘science’ in America [the healthcare profession, the FDA and the worthless Big Pharma cabal], does Americans NO favors. We’re told that all we need is access to prescription drugs and “infallible” MDs.
    I suspect that a) either our “leaders” have no interest in eating ‘right,’ or b) they are NOT there to make good decisions and keep America strong and safe. I do not say this to see how thin-skinned some readers are. I’m being honest.
    How else do you account for so many bad decisions being made for so long? If it’s not due to the quality of the food consumed by those in Washington, then how many other possibilities exist? Most likely, we’ll never know what the answer is.
    Like it or not, we can’t let ourselves NOT think about people and matters that CONSISTENTLY make America a country that does not take care of itself and eviscerates our quality of life each and every year. What can we say about ourselves when our ‘food habits’ affect the lives of every man, woman and child and it’s done to every generation?

  • s c

    Bob Livingston and PLD readers, look at the current issue of Life Extension [Feb 2012]. A special article titled ‘Novel Magnesium Compound REVERSES Neurodegeneration.’ This is a stunning article, and its implications will knock ‘modern’ medicine on its heels.
    The compound in question (a new form of magnesium) is magnesium-L-threonate. It was developed at MIT. Read the article and be prepared to be astounded. The AMA/FDA crowd had NOTHING to do with this research, folks. Enjoy the article.

  • Jack

    Of course healthy eating is good for you, duh ! But nutjobs on the right attacked Michelle Obama for advocating healthy lunches for our kids. They want to keep right on eating crap. Not only are Fox viewers shown to be overwhelmingly uninformed, they’re unhealthy as well.

    • s c

      Heidy ho, j o. You’ve never done any research on this topic have you? Aside from the FACT that your approach is too simplistic, you couldn’t resist from pointing fingers when your integrity tends to ‘suck.’
      Even in America, j o, just because you might have plenty to eat doesn’t mean you’re eating right, airhead. The next time you go to a grocery store (and IF you can READ), pick up up an item and READ the contents. Get somene to do it for you if you’re a public school grad.
      The quality of food in America isn’t what it should be. Your friends at PETA can tell you that, j o. If you know anything about nutrition, you should be aware that there’s a huge difference between quality and quantity (big words, eh, j o?).
      Now that you’ve had a chance to vent your spleen at someone else’s expense, j o, you need to prove that you have at least a dime’s worth of self-respect and integrity. Do some RESEARCH, utopian.
      Have you EVER considered the possibility that our elected retards must have a faulty diet? How else can you explain the decisions coming from Congress and the White House? AHA!
      Learn to READ, j o. Then, learn how to THINK. So far, I don’t see much evidence that YOU can do EITHER, comrade. And while you’re at it, STICK IT.


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