The GCBH examined the impact diet has on brain health

Brain food: How to eat well for a healthy brain in later life

A new international report gives the clearest evidence to date on the impact of diet on brain health in older adults.

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), which includes experts from the University of Exeter, examined the science on the impact diet has on brain health in adults age 50 and older.

GCBH experts carefully considered what can be confidently concluded about whether and how dietary patterns and food choices influence brain health.

Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, is Vice-chair of the GCBH Governing Board. She said: “Our analysis shows that what is good for the heart is good for the brain. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables and berries contributes to better brain health. Excessive alcohol, and a diet high in red meat, saturated fats, sugar and salt can harm your brain health. Instead, it’s best to choose a variety of fruits and vegetables and healthy grains, and swap butter and red meats for more olive oil and omega-3 rich fish.”

The new report concludes that switching to healthy eating habits can benefit the brain. To get the most benefit, it’s important to make these changes as early as possible. The report concludes there is no “silver bullet” superfood to benefit health, and that a combination of different food types and nutrients yield the most benefit. It provides specific recommendations on which foods to encourage, include or limit in adults’ diets.

Download the full report, which includes 12 practical tips to incorporate healthy eating habits to help maintain brain health.  For additional GCBH reports and materials, visit:

Read more about dementia research at Exeter on our website:

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Date: 30 January 2018

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