These are foods with nutrients that reduce the decline in brain function and memory.

Mediterranean Diet Foods (Shutterstock)

Understanding the biology of aging can help us live longer and be healthier, and a new joint study from the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA) has found a link between the speed at which our brain is aging and our nutrients diet. The results were published in Aging of the NP.

Researchers compared brain scans with the food intake of 100 volunteers aged 65 to 75, looking for links between certain diets and slower brain aging. In this way, they identified two different types of brain aging, finding that slower aging was associated with nutrient intake similar to that achieved with Mediterranean dietwhich, as previous studies have shown, is one of the best for our body.

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“We are looking at specific nutrient biomarkers such as fatty acid, which are known in nutritional science to have potential health benefits,” explains neuroscientist Aron Barbee of the University of Illinois. “This is consistent with a large body of research demonstrating the positive health effects of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes foods rich in these beneficial nutrients.” It’s important to note that the researchers did not rely on study participants to report their diet. Instead they analyzed blood samples look for nutrient biomarkers, providing strong scientific evidence of what these older adults ate and drank.

Beneficial biomarkers identified include fatty acids, e.g. fish And olive oiland antioxidants such as vitamin E, found in spinach and almonds. Carotenoids, plant pigments present in carrot and pumpkin, which has previously been found to reduce inflammation in the body and protect cells from damage. Another useful biomarker associated with slowing aging in this study was choline, which is found in high concentrations in egg yolks, organ meats, and raw soybeans.

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Researchers assessed brain aging using MRI and cognitive assessments—a combination of approaches that offered a practical picture of mental abilities along with finer details of neural structure. “This allows us to get a clearer picture of the relationship between these factors,” Barbee says. “We simultaneously examined brain structure, function and metabolism, demonstrating a direct link between these brain properties and cognitive performance.”

There is growing evidence that nutrition It plays a critical role in the aging brain, and each new study helps provide more information about how our brains are closely connected to all other parts and functions of the body. The team now wants to study clinical trials over a significant period of time to see how diet and nutrition may affect the aging brain.

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This research raises the possibility that simple changes in our diet could help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. “This study identifies patterns of specific nutrient biomarkers that are promising and have favorable associations with health outcomes. cognitive ability and brain health“, concludes Dr. Barbie.

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