Healthy eating really is brain food
EATING healthily could ward off dementia and make your brain more than six months younger.
Researchers say people who eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish have bigger brains.
The findings are the latest evidence that ‘‘what is good for the heart is good for the head”.
A healthy diet, long known to protect people from heart prob- lems, was found to add to brain volume, boosting people’s grey matter and the volume of their hippocampus — the brain’s memory centre. Across more than 4000 people aged 45 and older, eating well was found to give people an average extra brain volume of 2mm. That is the equivalent of a brain being more than six months younger, as it shrinks with age. Having a larger brain is thought to ward off memory loss, which can often be followed by dementia.
Dr Meike Vernooij, co-author of the Dutch study, said: ‘‘People with greater brain volume have been shown to have better cognitive abilities, so initiatives that help improve diet may be a good strategy to maintain thinking skills in older adults.”