The food we eat has a huge impact on every area of our health.
From libidos and fertility, to heart and mental health, nutrition plays a massive part.
And our brains are no different, with brain-gut interaction getting more attention in recent years, terms of the development of dementia in adults.
Now, a new long-term study published in science journal, Nutritional Neuroscience, has found the best kind of food to eat to prevent developing dementia in later life.
The research, which took place in Japan, over approximately a 20-year-period, studied 3,379 adults, all 40-64 years old.
Over the course of the experiment, researchers estimated the participants’ fibre consumption from 24-hourly reports on what they had all eaten.
In the follow-up period, 670 cases of disabling dementia developed in participants. Researchers found that those whose diets contained more fibre were less likely to develop the condition.
However, there are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble – and the type consumed did play a part.
Put simply, think of it like this. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water; so things like nuts, kale, vegetables with the skin on, etc. This means it moves through your digestive tract without being absorbed or broken down.
Soluble fibre, on the other hand, does break down in water – turning into a gel like substance. Things like oats, chia seeds, beans and berries.
In this study, participants who ate more soluble fibre showed even less chance of developing dementia, indicating that this kind of fibre may be particularly effective in keeping dementia away.
‘It’s a burgeoning area of research, that’s for sure,’ Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, author of Total Body Diet For Dummies and host of the podcast Nourishing Notes, told Eat This, Not That!.
‘In recent years, dietary fiber has been in the forefront as a powerful player in overall health, especially when it comes to cognitive health.
‘Diversifying fiber-filled plant foods in the diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses (beans, peas, and lentils), as well as nuts and seeds, has been shown to play a role in the health of the microbiome, which can affect brain health.’
This study has given new insights into dietary factors that prevent dementia but further research is needed to confirm just how much affect it really has.
However, fibre has a whole host of nutritional benefits and has been found to be beneficial for brain health, so there’s certainly no harm in giving it a go.
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