A recent observational study, which was carried out with 4,213 participants from the Rotterdam Study, links a healthy diet with better brain health. In particular, a diet based on vegetables, fruit, nuts (21.8 g/day), whole grains, dairy, fish and a limited intake of sugary beverages is associated with larger brain tissue volumes and thus may help promote brain health.
The results highlight the potential of nutrition to influence cognition and the risk of developing dementia through brain health.
Similarly, a scientific review reveals that almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts – which provide a wide range of nutrients and phytochemicals – may affect several pathways involved in Alzheimer’s disease, such as oxidative stress, cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties.
Healthy eating patterns, characterized by high consumption of plant-based foods, probiotics, antioxidants, soy beans, nuts, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a low intake of saturated fats, animal-derived proteins, and refined sugars, have been shown to decrease the risk of neurocognitive impairments and the eventual onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Diet is therefore an important changeable risk factor for brain diseases, especially dementia. Aging-associated diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (the most common type of dementia) are on the rise as a result of increased lifespan.