A new study finds that brain volumes of people who regularly eat vegetables, fruit, and fish are on average 2ml greater than brain volumes of those who often drink sugary beverages. A brain volume reduction of 3.6ml equals to one year of aging.
For the study, the researchers from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, analyzed diets of 4,213 adults with an average age of 66 who didn’t have dementia. The participants also had to take scans to determine their brain volumes.
Dr Meike Vernooij, the author of the study, says: “People with greater brain volume have been shown in other studies to have better cognitive abilities, so initiatives that help improve diet quality may be a good strategy to maintain thinking skills in older adults.”
A new study, executed by the researchers from New Zealand, suggests that raw vegetables, carrot and spinach, can boost people’s mood, improve appetite, and ward off depression because they contain more essential nutrients than cooked vegetables and fruit.
For the study, the researchers analyzed the eating habits of more than 400 adults aged between 18 and 25. This age group believed to have the lowest consumption of fruit and vegetables. The analysis showed that people who consumed more raw fruit and vegetables had lower mental disease symptoms such as depression.
Lead researcher Dr. Tamlin Conner from the University of Otago says: “This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health.”
The researchers conducted an experiment in the university cafeteria with seductive names to vegetables and discovered that vegetable sales rose by 25 per cent. They used such names as “sizzlin’ beans”, “dynamite beets” and “twisted citrus-glazed carrots”, which tempted students to choose these dishes.
Brad Turnwald and his colleagues say that these findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, make sense when you consider the psychology behind food options: “Labels really can influence our sensory experience, affecting how tasty and filling we think food will be.”
The antioxidant properties of carotenoids, vegetable compounds found in some vegetables, are well known, and now an emerging research suggests that these compounds may influence cognition positively.
Carotenoids can be found in such vegetables as carrots, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, kale, spinach, and peas.
For their study, the researchers included 43 adults aged between 65 and 86 years. They asked to learn and remember pairs of unrelated words while undergoing through functional MRI. The assessed the level of lutein and zeaxanthin (kinds of carotenoids) in the retina.
Scientists found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were associated with a lower signal in several areas of the brain. This indicated lower brain activity in individuals with higher levels of carotenoids, which meant they had not had to work as hard to complete the task.
If you choose to be a vegetarian, the first thing you should care about is to have the right diet plan that includes all necessary nutrients. The main concern here is iron. According to the regulations of the US National Institute of Health, the recommended dietary allowances of iron for adults is 8-27 mg per day, with pregnant and breastfeeding women tending to the higher end.
There are plenty non-meat options that contain the same amount of iron (or in some cases even more) than meat.