How Does Nutrition Affect the Brain?
In an interview with the Health Channel, Dr. Paul Damski, Neurologist with Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, describes the relationship between diet and brain health. Specifically, the interviewer wants to know, does the Mediterranean diet support brain health?
Dr. Damski says that there is clearly a relationship between diet and brain health, but it’s difficult to study. He explains most of the research done on the relationship between diet and brain health “come from these very long studies. They look at a big population of people, they try to get a sample by phone calling, by you know entering things on a computer. Questions like, what am I eating today? What’s my typical diet? And they try to get a pattern.” There is also far more research looking at how diet correlates with heart health, while brain health is often an afterthought. Dr. Damski says that, usually, “that which helps the heart also helps the brain.”
People who follow the Mediterranean diet typically limit their meat consumption and eat a lot of healthy oils and vegetables. In comparison to the average American’s diet, which Dr. Damski describes as consisting of burgers and french fries, people on the Mediterranean diet consume less sodium and a more controlled blood pressure.
Dr. Damski mentions that vascular dementia, which is dementia caused by impaired blood flow to the brain, can be prevented by better blood pressure management. High blood pressure can also cause white matter hyperintensities on the brain, which appear as white spots in an MRI.
Someone who has good blood pressure control will produce cleaner MRI scans and will suffer less damage. Dr. Damski ends by emphasizing that eating well and keeping your blood pressure under control is important not only for your heart, but your brain too.
To watch the full segment of Dr. Paul Damski talking the relationship between diet and brain health, visit: https://youtu.be/r6O4-QeN150