Cognitive Health Essay

1241 Words 5 Pages
Research into cognitive health and disease has come a long way in recent decades. Researchers have discovered an abundance of information in regard to what happens in the brain as people age. As people age, many changes take place throughout the body, and that includes the brain. Often, certain parts of the brain will shrink over time; this usually occurs in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus (NIH,2015). These two areas of the brain are involved with many important tasks, including planning, memory and learning. Changes occur within neurons as well as neurotransmitters. Those changes can lead to difficulties in communication within the brain. Many people may also suffer from inflammation of the brain at some time or another. This may …show more content…
Certain ingredients that come from such foods offer very specific benefits for cognitive health. The first major ingredient is vitamin B, specifically folate or B-9, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. Researchers have studied the effects of the B vitamins on cognitive health for quite some time. The benefits are well established. These vitamins have the power to drastically reduce shrinkage of the brain, that occurs with age (Bailey & Arab, 2012). High levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid that tends to increase in the brain with age, “are associated with brain atrophy, dementia, and Alzheimer 's” (Bailey & Arab, 2012) B vitamins can aid in the conversion of homocysteine into methionine. Methionine is an amino acid, which the body can use to synthesize healthy tissue. B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods. B-6 is found mostly in organ meats, fish, starchy vegetables and fruit. Foods high in B-12 are seafood, liver, soy, red meat, dairy and eggs. Folate is typically found in many foods but the richest sources include dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, beans, peas, lentils, and citrus …show more content…
They also helpful in managing inflammation in the brain, and also improve cognitive, memory and learning functions. “Through these mechanisms, the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods throughout life holds the potential to limit neurodegeneration and to prevent or reverse age-dependent loses in cognitive performance” (Vauzour, Vafeiadou, Rodriguez-Mateos, Rendeiro, & Spencer, 2008). Flavonoids are being studied extensively because it is believed they may be used to create pharmaceuticals that increase brain function. They are traditionally found in beverages like fruit juices, cocoa, tea and wine, and in vegetables and

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