Healthy eat­ing re­ally is brain food

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion -

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.”

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