According to new research conducted by Spanish scientists, a diet rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (called LMN diet) may boost neurological function, brain health and mental performance.
The team from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona found that the compounds in question help boost the production of the brain’s stem cells and strengthen their differentiation into different types of neurons.
Specifically, when the researchers fed mice a LMN diet they noted greater cell proliferation in the two areas of the brain where neurogenesis is produced—the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus.
Since both areas become severely damaged in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the experiments provide evidence that a diet rich in these antioxidants could delay the onset or slow down the progress of this neurodegenerative disease.
The study will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Polyphenols can be found in tea, grapes, wine, olive oil, cocoa, nuts and other fruits and vegetables, while polyunsaturated fatty acids are derived from vegetables such as corn, soybeans, sunflowers and pumpkins as well as blue fish.
They can also be obtained via nutritional supplements