A healthy diet and active lifestyle are quintessential to maintain sound heart health. But, did you know that having a heart-healthy diet can also improve brain health and brain function? According to a research by the U.S. National Library for Medicine, “regular exercising and following a heart-healthy diet like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, may improve heart condition as well as boost memory power.” The research was based on the claims made by several experts that the risk aspects for heart disease also are risk aspects for dementia and late-life cognitive decline and dementia. The result of the study named “Exercise and Nutritional Interventions for Cognitive and Cardiovascular Health Enhancement” was published recently by the – American Geriatrics Society.
Mild cognitive impairment can show symptoms comprises of forgetting events and dates, frequently losing belongings, having more trouble coming up with words as compared to other people of the same age, and difficulty in memorizing things. The research group suggests that the same diet we follow to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems can also slow cognitive decline in grown-up adults with Cognitive impairment without dementia (CIND). For the study, the researchers set out to observe the effects of aerobic exercise, also called “cardio” or “cardiovascular” and the DASH diet on cognitive functioning in grown-up adults with CIND. The team studied 165 adults 56-years-old or older. The research participants were older adults who didn’t work-out and had difficulty thinking and making decisions, along with other memory problems.
The participants also exhibited at least one additional risk aspect for heart diseases, for instance, high cholesterol, blood pressure/hypertension, diabetes, as well as other chronic conditions. The participants were given several tests to monitor their heart disease risk aspects and cognitive capability. The research team also kept a close watch on their eating habits and daily physical practice, for a period of around six months. The results revealed that a balanced combination of Dash diet and exercise improved the capability to remember, think, and make decisions, as compared to individuals who didn’t follow the diet or exercise.