There have a been a number of convincing studies in recent years showing that the old adage “you are what you eat” is pretty accurate. But if you weren’t quite convinced to cut back on donuts and choke down some kale, a new study from the University of Illinois might do so: It shows that blood levels of certain molecules that are touted to be healthy—omega-3s, lycopene, B-vitamins, among others—actually correlated not only to cognitive function but also to how the brain functions.
"The basic question we were asking was whether diet and nutrition are associated with healthy brain aging," said study author Aron Barbey in a statement. "And instead of inferring brain health from a cognitive test, we directly examined the brain using high-resolution brain imaging." (He and his team did have the participants carry out cognitive tasks, which is important, and discussed below.)
The study was published this week in the journal NeuroImage.