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In adulthood, quality of life is highly impacted by both the physical and functional health of the brain. A plethora of individual nutrients, dietary substances, and dietary patterns have been studied in the search for ways to modify the course of neurological disorders, combat depression and other mental health problems, or to improve or retain cognitive capabilities with aging. Accumulating evidence suggests that the effects of diet and nutrition on brain health are multifactorial, consistent with the complexity of brain metabolism and functions.
The purpose of this review is to summarize the research literature on food, nutrition, and brain health over the past five years. The operational definition of “brain health” included three domains: physical attributes of the brain, cognitive functional capacity and performance, and the mental health diagnosis of depression.
CPE Level: 2
Performance Indicators: 6.3.11, 6.3.7, 8.3.6
- Define “brain health” in terms of the physiological, neurological, and psychological domains.
- Discuss the ways in which brain health is related to healthy aging.
- Identity strengths and limitations in the research on diet and brain health.
- Apply synthesis of evidence-based research to inform patients / clients about individual foods and diet patterns that may be supportive of brain health.