Healthy food can bring different benefits to the body. One of those is for the brain that is especially important as people get older. Diet can have a positive impact on cognition and longevity. There are different approaches to it that everyone can explore.

There has been much research about brain function and foods impact on it. As one of the specialists that expressed his opinion about the recent discoveries was Matthew Ruscigno, who had discussed research updates and practical approaches to improving “cognition and longevity with food.”[1] It is important to maintain the brain in good shape, and brain food is an important part of it. You can read more about brain nutrition here.

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Food and cognitive function

Food, exercise, and lifestyle play a role in cognition, in the brain, for example, how our memory is working as we age. Ruscigno notes that has been a lot of research, especially about the B vitamin. The opinion still divides about which exactly B vitamins are helpful as it is hard to divide them for research. A lot of things have an involvement in energy production in the brain, cognition, memory function, RNA polymeric molecule (essential for decoding, coding, regulation, expression of genes), DNA, etc. Ruscigno also mentions that research about this issue has also shown that people who had higher folic acid consumption had lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Another important part is vitamin B12.

The national organizations also suggest using the B12 supplement if you are over 50. Research proves that one of which done in New York that showed that highest dementia ratio was among people with lowest B12 level. That is also a risk factor for cognitive impairment.

Dietary guidelines

Each diet needs an individual establishment, but there are some general guidelines just to understand what might be the right way to avoid fast food and other unhealthy choices. As one of the best food choices is beans as they have the highest amount of folic. One serving of lentils and beans can give up to 90% of daily folic value. At the same time, this food is cheap and easy to store as well as prepare and eat (they are soft). This is an excellent alternative to fast and other unhealthy food. You even don’t need to cook beans or lentils that much not to make them too soft. It can also be added to other food if a person doesn’t like beans or lentils that much like pasta with zucchini and you won’t be able to taste this healthy addition.

So the food should be rich in nutrients and vitamins to be beneficial. It is possible to also use frozen spinach, beans, etc. and it doesn’t mean that just because they are frozen, they are bad. Also, certain berries have proven their positive impact on cognitive functions. Ruscigno also suggests not forget about what kind of substances are harmful to the health like sodium.

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The food you eat influences cognitive functions, so it is clear that you need to add extra attention to food and lifestyle as a whole. There are exceptions of course, for example, allergic reactions to certain foods, etc. so board certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher suggests to consult before making radical dietary changes. Moving away from pre-made foods is just one way that needs a separate adaptation to each case with the right nutritious food.

Reference:

[1] Brain Food for Seniors: Dietary Impacts on Cognition and Longevity. Accessed from: https://www.reachmd.com/programs/nutritionedge/brain-food-seniors-dietary-impacts-cognition-longevity/8462/rel=”nofollow”