Scientists from University of California San Francisco and elsewhere found more physical activity and higher adherence to the MIND diet may help slow down cognitive aging.
The MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a hybrid diet that combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
The diet was developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and it is designed to promote brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The MIND diet emphasizes foods that are good for the brain, such as leafy greens, berries, nuts, whole grains, fish, and olive oil.
It also recommends limiting or avoiding foods that are less beneficial for brain health, such as red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries, and fried or fast food.
In the current study, researchers wanted to know how what we eat and how active we are can affect the brain and how well we think as we get older.
They studied 132 people between 52 and 91 years old who were healthy and did not show signs of dementia.
The participants were asked to answer questions about the kinds of foods they ate and how physically active they were.
The researchers then looked at how well they did on different kinds of thinking tests, like remembering things, speaking, and making decisions.
They also used special machines to measure the size of different parts of their brains.
The results showed that people who ate a healthy diet and were more physically active tended to have better thinking skills and larger brain volumes.
However, the researchers found that having high levels of both physical activity and a healthy diet did not necessarily lead to even better results.
In fact, they found that people who had low levels of physical activity and did not follow a healthy diet had the worst thinking skills and smallest brain volumes.
On the other hand, people who were physically active or followed a healthy diet, but not necessarily both, had better thinking skills and larger brain volumes.
The researchers say that this study shows how important it is to eat well and stay active as we age.
However, they also say that it is not always necessary to have high levels of both physical activity and a healthy diet to get the best brain health outcomes.
More research is needed to understand how physical activity and diet interact with each other, but for now, we know that staying active and eating healthy foods can help us keep our brains healthy and sharp as we get older.
The research was published in The Clinical Neuropsychologist and was conducted by Catherine E Escher et al.
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