Menopause Brains Require Eating Healthy


If you really want a healthy brain in menopause and beyond, a recent study in the Neurology shows that you must eat healthy. It’s not just a single vitamin that causes brain power to dip to cognitive decline. Both good and bad brain health is caused in part by what you eat.

The people in this study didn’t just try to remember what they ate (sometimes people forget); they had blood test for special markers in their blood to measure vitamin levels, they had their memory tested and they had MRI scans of their brains to measure their brain volume. A total of 104 patients were in the study but only 42 had the MRI scans.

People with the highest levels of B family vitamins, and vitamins D, C and E had higher scores on cognitive tests than people with lower levels. The same was true for omega-3 fatty acids, which I’ve written about before as linked to better brain health.

People with higher levels of trans fats (the kind in most junk food, fried foods and many pasty options in grocery stores) in their blood did worse on thinking and memory tests. Their MRI scans also showed more brain shrinkage than people who had lower trans fats levels.

Overall, poor nutrition caused about 17% of the poor outcomes on cognitive test scores for thinking and memory function. But other things, like age, education, and having high blood pressure contributed 46% to worse scores. But when it comes to brain size, 37% of the cause of smaller brain volume was due to poor nutrition.

So if you think that stopping your brain from shrinking and keeping sharp is in your game plan, eat fruits, vegetables and fish and avoid junk food.

It seems when it comes to your brain, you really are what you eat. The study was carried out at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.


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