Category: Health Tips

Dietary Intake and Cognitive Function

Often, we speak about the importance of nutrition and its relationship with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In previous posts, we have mentioned how your diet can influence your energy, mood, as well as joint and muscle pain. But what if we told you that the food choices you make in your young adult life could significantly influence your cognitive function, including memory, intelligence, and problem solving, later in life?

This journal article, written by our very own nutritionist and clinical research associate Natalie Fortune, illustrates that higher consumption of vitamin B-6 and whole grains are associated with better cognition later in life. Foods that are high in vitamin B-6 include vegetables, poultry, eggs, and fish. Brown rice and oatmeal are examples of whole grains.

We also found that higher consumption of fried foods and processed meats are associated with worse cognition later in life. Examples of processed meats include hotdogs, bacon, sausage, salami, and canned meat.

We all know that fried foods and processed meats are worse choices for us, especially compared to whole foods (i.e. lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains). These findings coincide with the suggestions that we often give our patients: reduce/eliminate fried and processed foods and increasing the consumption of whole foods.

Of course, these suggestions can reduce inflammation and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. However, I hope that after reading this article, you will have even more incentive to eat well – not only so your body looks and feels good, but also to protect your brain function!