Eating right isn’t just good for the body—it’s good for the mind, too.
A new study in Neurology followed more than 27,000 men and women age 55 and older over five years, tracking their mental state. The researchers observed a lower risk of cognitive decline in the participants who ate the healthiest.
The nature of the study means that researchers can’t say definitively that healthful eating leads to better brain function (because it simply observed a relationship instead of proving causation), but previous research into brain health say this makes sense. For example, a bad diet won’t provide the nutrition the brain needs to limit inflammation, break down fats and protect cells from stress.
Of course, diet alone can’t save your brain, but researchers note that it can be an important first step to healthier living.