A recent observational study, which was carried out between 2005 and 2015 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.
About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council
INC members include more than 800 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization on health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, and international standards and regulations regarding nuts and dried fruit.
. Croll, P. H., Voortman, T., Ikram, M. A., Franco, O. H., Schoufour, J. D., Bos, D., & Vernooij, M. W. (2018). Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes: The Rotterdam Study. Neurology, 10-1212.
. Gorji, N., Moeini, R., & Memariani, Z. (2017). Almond, hazelnut and walnut, three nuts for neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease: A neuropharmacological review of their bioactive constituents. Pharmacological research.
. Pistollato, F., Iglesias, R. C., Ruiz, R., Aparicio, S., Crespo, J., Lopez, L. D., … & Battino, M. (2018). Nutritional patterns associated with the maintenance of neurocognitive functions and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: A focus on human studies. Pharmacological research.
SOURCE INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.