We all know that eating right can help you ward off those pesky pounds, but did you know that a good diet may also effect our memory and ward off dementia when we’re older?
A study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who ate the most saturated fats from foods such as red meat and butter performed worse on tests of thinking and memory than women who ate the lowest amounts of these fats.
According to a recent Harvard Women’s Health Watch article, the researchers don’t know the exact reason for the connection, but experts suggest that it has to do with a gene that’s associated with the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
They also explain that “the buildup of cholesterol plaques in brain blood vessels can damage brain tissue, either through small blockages that cause silent strokes, or a larger, more catastrophic stroke. Either way, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally, which can compromise thinking and memory.”
Some foods that DO help memory:
- Healthy unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, fish, and nuts.
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Red Wine (1 Glass)
And it’s not just diet! A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion also found that physically active older adults were 21 percent less likely to be diagnosed dementia than those who didn’t engage in physical activity on a regular basis.
Runner’s World reported that experts believe working out decreases dementia risk because it reduces risk factors associated with the condition, like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.