Diet and the Brain
By Jeffrey Farbman, M.D. and Sherrie All, Ph.D.
Food, thoughts and memories have long been felt to be connected. Who, after all, has not heard the expression "You are what you eat," or is not familiar with the idea that the taste and smell of a particular food item can trigger an old memory?
Brain research has now demonstrated a link between mental function and our diets. We now know that our levels of cognitive reserve and what we eat are intricately related.
As you've been learning, the concept of cognitive reserve is the idea that our brains can resist the effects of the little injuries of daily life that turn into the accumulated effects of aging and rob us of our mental powers. People who have higher levels of cognitive reserve can weather these accumulated deductions to a greater degree than those with lower levels of cognitive reserve, drawing upon the extra brainpower they have stored in the bank to keep their minds functioning in top form despite the advancing years.
Each of us has a different level of cognitive reserve and, therefore, a different level of resistance to the development of dementia. The good news is that our levels of cognitive reserve can be enhanced through lifestyle changes, therefore giving us some control over the aging of our brains.
Diet is one of the important lifestyle elements that appears to play an role in building and maintaining cognitive reserve. We felt a program without a brain healthy diet would be incomplete. That is why we included the Mediterranean Diet in TheCognitiveReserve.com program.
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