Eat Your Way Out of Cognitive Decline
When I was a child I was told, “you are what you eat.” But somehow despite my constant consumption of baby dill pickles I didn’t grow up green, sour and bumpy. However, new scientific research is telling me that all those salty pickles probably impacted my brain development…and perhaps made me what I am today after all!
Neurobiology of Aging published interesting findings regarding elevated levels of cholecystokinin and cognitive outcomes. Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone associated with satiety, secreted during digestion, particularly in the presence of fats and proteins. Cholecystokinin is present in the brain, especially in regions such as the hippocampus, which contribute to memory function. According to researchers, “higher CCK predicted better cognitive outcomes.”
Similarly encouraging, Science Daily reported on findings from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that substantiate the correlation between reduction of blood pressure and reduction of cognitive impairment. When we combine the news from these two studies, we can surmise that there are brain-saving benefits to be gained from a low-carb diet rich with fats and proteins for maximizing the production of cholecystokinin…yet we need to make sure those fats are healthy fats that help reduce blood pressure and not increase it. Sounds complicated? Not really. Common sense dictates that adding vegetable fats such as olive oil, avocados and coconut oil are helpful; animal fats such as bacon and whole milk do the body more harm than good.
I am convinced: we shouldn’t wait another day to make those brain-saving dietary changes!
Check out the original research: