The cognitive abilities of an individual are found to be growing and developing continuously throughout the lifespan. This finding is contrary to the previous notion that your cognitive abilities, experience a decline as you age. This is because there are previous studies, which demonstrates that decline in cognitive function happening with age is mostly due to the existence of problems such as dementia, or other neurological conditions such as stroke.
However, the growth of your cognitive capacities does not happen if conditions that are related to the overall functioning of your body are not conducive for it. It means that when you do not necessarily take care of your cognitive health, a decline may occur unless you take measures to delay or stop it from happening.
Diet affects your cognitive health
Over the years, there are a number of researches that have been made in this area and these studies have turned out with findings that one of the ways to maintain and promote optimal levels of cognitive functioning is through managing the foods that you take. A nutritious diet is essential to the overall functioning of your body and even your cognitive health. If your diet is high in foods that contain essential fatty acids, and other nutrients and vitamins, it can improve your cognitive health. Such diet not only increases your cognitive health but also reduces the risk of other chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke.
DASH and Mediterranean type diets improve cognitive function
Certain types of diet that are considered to be highly conducive in maintaining and promoting optimal health are the DASH and Mediterranean diets. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a plan that is usually prescribed to individuals who have hypertension. This dietary plan primarily consists of lists of foods that an individual with hypertension can take. It also details the exact amount of each food such individuals are allowed to take in order to stop the progression of hypertension if they already have it, or to stop hypertension from occurring if they are at high risk of developing it. Since this diet restricts the intake of salt, fat, and refined carbohydrates, it is very often used in other people suffering from other health conditions such as heart disease, obesity and stroke.
In a study conducted in the US, it was demonstrated that individuals who adopted the DASH diet had lower blood pressures in comparison to those individuals who did not adopt this diet. The DASH diet may be useful in the prevention of cognitive decline, since an effective blood circulation to your brain is related to your blood pressure readings. When you have a blood pressure that is within the normal limits, then your blood is able to flow more efficiently into the brain, increasing the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain and contributing to overall cognitive health.
Another diet that has been found to be helpful in maintaining and promoting optimal cognitive health is the Mediterranean diet. This diet has been followed by people residing in the Mediterranean areas. This diet consists of foods that are rich in essential fatty acids such as peas, lentils, fish, beans, nuts and olive oil, all of which are essential for maintaining cognitive health and functioning. This diet is also rich in fruits, whole grain bread and other unrefined sources of carbohydrates that are important in ensuring that the vessels and nerves in the brain remain healthy and disease free.
The maintenance and promotion of optimal cognitive health is not essentially difficult if you follow healthy diet and lifestyle. Always remember that prevention of cognitive problems is way so much better than finding a cure for it!