Cognitive Health: Foods and Nutrients That Show Promise

Today, the pursuit of health goes beyond striving for a healthy body; it also involves the quest for a healthy mind. Indeed, science suggests that factors linked to physical health, namely diet and physical activity, also are linked to cognitive health. Cognitive health encompasses normal brain and mental functioning, management of depression and other mood-related disorders, the decline in cognition as part of the normal aging process, and impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.


The relationship between fish and seafood and cognitive health appears promising. Two pooled studies showed that groups eating the most fish had a lower risk of depression.10,11 Higher fish intake also has been linked to reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.12 The benefits of fish consumption have been attributed to its omega-3 fatty acid content, but research to date is inconclusive. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, reduce the type of oxidative stress and inflammation that damages brain cells.



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