Does your diet affect the size of your brain? According to a latest study, the brain volumes of people is larger in those, who have healthy diets.
In this research, Meike Vernooij from Erasmus University and her colleagues attempted to establish the association between diet and its impact on the brain. They interviewed 4,000 adults in the Netherlands regarding their eating habits and studied the scans of their brains over a period of 10 years.
It was found that people, who had healthier diets – closely mimicking the Mediterranean diet – inclusive of vegetables, fruits and healthy fats from fish and more – had more brain volumes. The grey and white matter was more in those, who ate healthier diets, which is the measure of brain nerve density. The part of the brain, which processes memories – hippocampus – was also larger in people, who consumed healthy diets.
Meike and her team tried to study the effects of individual food component and found that no single ingredient was responsible for the depicted benefit. In fact, it was the combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy and fish that seemed to result in larger brain volume or size. It was also found that people, who consumed lesser sugar-sweetened beverages, had more brain volume.
The researchers commented that the study did not predicted whether diet is actually capable of altering brain volumes or affecting its functioning, but its result could help us understand how diet can be used to treat brain disorders.
They asserted that that the results can open new doors of opportunities since it is a well-established fact that healthy diet can better brain health and that it protects the brain from neurodegeneration. However, to scientifically establish the fact that healthy diet can reduce dementia risk, larger studies as well as longer follow ups are required.
The team would perhaps continue their research to understand how diet can affect brain volume and slow down or reverse cognitive damage.