How Diet Can Help Preserve Your Cognitive Function

Your brain is arguably the most important part of the body, as it works through life and takes control of all other parts to function. It’s important to keep it healthy so that a chain of damages can be prevented. There are various ways to maintain your brain health, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on diet. While it is often related to topics such as weight and beauty management, the benefits of a healthy diet extend to improving your cognitive function too, according to a recent data analysis.

Cognitive Function in Brain Health

Cognitive function refers to mental processes that help get and process information that we absorb. These processes such as including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision making, language, and attention. 

The essence of cognitive function

The importance of cognitive function is as simple but most impactful as it allows us to carry out any task. Cognitive functions allow us to play an active role in processing received information, and navigate the environment that surrounds us. Without proper cognition, we would be bumping into mistakes after another. All the activities that we perform require the use of our brain, which involves millions of neural connections distributed throughout different areas of the brain. This is for the purpose of being able to appropriately deal with our environment and process the information that we obtain through various mediums.

However, there is a natural decline in cognition due to the aging process, which brought researchers to seek ways to maximize slowing down and preventing drastic decline.

Diet: A Key to Preserve Brain Health

Data analysis was led by the researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 regarding the discovery that a healthy diet, specifically a Mediterranean diet that is high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil, correlates with higher cognitive function. 

We do not always pay attention to our diets. We need to explore how nutrition affects the brain and the eye,” said Emily Chew, M.D., director of the NEI Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications and lead author of the studies.

The researchers examined the effects of nine components of the Mediterranean diet on cognition. The consumption of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil, as well as reduced consumption of red meat and alcohol show cognitive function support, with high fish and vegetable consumption appearing to have the greatest effect. It was also found that participants with the greatest adherence to the Mediterranean diet had the lowest risk of cognitive impairment. 

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