Getting older is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. As we age, our risk of cognitive decline and other illnesses increases.
That’s a worry for many. But it doesn’t have to be, as new research shows the right diet can play a big role in keeping the mind fresh.
A recent study showed an association between eating anti-inflammatory diets and a lower risk of dementia in older adults.
After age 40, our bodies start making pro-inflammatory mediators, a process called “inflammaging.” It can reach the brain and cause cognitive issues like dementia.
While science has shown the link between inflammation and cognitive decline, the role of diet has been unclear.
The researchers evaluated more than 1,000 people in Greece during a three-year period.
The researchers evaluated participants’ diets and grouped them based on how inflammatory they were.
The first group had the least inflammatory diets, eating the most fruits, vegetables and legumes. The second group ate an average amount of those items, while the third group ate fewer greens, along with more sugar and processed foods.
Sixty-two of the participants developed dementia in that time, most of them from the group that passed over produce in favor of processed foods. Meanwhile, the group with the less-inflammatory diet showed significantly fewer signs of decline. The members of the most inflammatory diet group, in fact, were three times as likely to develop dementia during the study as those in the group that didn’t mind a salad.
So, try trading out that half-pound burger for salmon and the wine for tea. Your brain might just thank you for it.