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These Foods Linked to Bigger
Brains, Better Memory
Mediterranean-Style Diet
With the recent news tying processed and red meats to cancer, you may already be
cutting back on steak dinners. Here’s even more incentive: Two new studies have found
that a Mediterranean-style diet – featuring more fish, whole grains, fruits and
vegetables, and less meat – may not only help keep your memory strong, but also slow
age-related brain shrinkage. There’s also good news for those who find it difficult to eat
healthy all the time: Both studies found that just incorporating a few of the
recommended foods into your diet seems to help.
Research Findings
For the first study, researchers at Columbia University followed 674 people in the New
York area with an average age of 80 who did not have signs of dementia. The
researchers questioned subjects about their diets and performed scans to measure
brain volume. They found that those who ate the most foods in a Mediterranean-like diet
had a total brain volume 13 ml larger than those who did not follow the diet. Because
lower brain volume is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, this new research
may help explain why a healthy diet seems to protect the aging brain.
Columbia’s Healthy-Food List
The Columbia University healthy-food list included: vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish,
fruits, nuts, and cooking oils, and mild to moderate alcohol consumption. Eating more
fish – at least three to five ounces a week – and limiting all meat (including chicken and
pork) to 100 grams a day or less seemed to give an extra boost to brain volume.
Excerpts from an AARP blog article written by Elizabeth Agnvall
For more information about brain health: or call during
business hours toll-free: 1-866-389-5655