What You Consume Influences Cognitive Function

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Have you ever heard the phrase “You are what you eat?” This quote holds truer than most people think, for studies have found that what you eat influences your cognitive function. In the November 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a large population based prospective study was conducted with older adults that either followed a Mediterranean diet or DASH eating plan. The results showed that the participants following either diet had higher levels of cognitive function over an 11-year period. The diets of men and women aged 65 years and older were evaluated on four occasions using a self-administered food frequency questionnaire that included a common list of foods. Their diets reflected regular consumptions of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products and whole grains with a few sources of red meat, processed foods, sweetened beverages, sweetened foods, or alcohol. A few single nutrients were analyzed and they found that people with the highest cognitive scores reported having a higher consumption of whole grains, nuts, and legumes. So remember the phrase, “You are what you eat” because it holds a deeper meaning than merely referring to the state of one’s physical health.

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