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Mar 132012



“Enhancing Cognitive Fitness In Adults A Guide to the Use and Development of Community-Based Programs” (Editors Paula E. Hartman-Stein and Asenath La Rue, 2011) presents a cornucopia of information in the 499 page book. This author was able to obtain the book through interlibrary loan.

The book is divided into 5 Parts. Part I presents “Research Foundations for Cognitive Wellness Interventions”. Part II consists of “Community-Based Programs to Enhance and Sustain Healthy Aging”. Part III is named “Enhancing Cognition Through Arts”. Part IV is titled “Cognitive Wellness Interventions for Adults with Memory Impairment”. And Part V is “Gaining Through Giving Back : Programs with a Positive Societal Impact”. This article provides some additional information supported by research that is relevant and important for cognitive fitness.    

Chapter 16 (the last chapter in Part II) is titled “Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements to Promote Brain Health” authored by Abhilash K. Desai, Joy Rush, Lakshmi Naveen and Papan Thaipisulttikul. It begins on page 249 with the ” Abstract New scientific evidence strongly suggests that a variety of nutritional strategies can promote brain health and slow the course of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ARD). Improving nutrition is, thus, a critical component of any comprehensive strategy to slow the course of ADRD. Improving nutrition is, thus, a critical component of any comprehensive strategy to slow the course of ADRD. This chapter presents recommendations to meet this objective. Specific goals are to consume a balanced diet with particular focus on increasing consumption of brain power foods. Examples of brain power foods include oily fish (to be consumed at least twice a week), berries (especially blueberries), green leafy vegetables, legumes, and turmeric. In addition, some nutritional supplements (especially vitamin D and vitamin B12) are also necessary to promote brain health. Multinutritional intervention, targeting multiple aspects of processes causing ADRD, instituted as early as possible is likely to have the greatest beneficial effect. Staying physically and mentally active and maintaining a healthy weight can greatly enhance the beneficial effects of nutritional interventions on brain health.”

Chapter 16 ends with a “Conclusion” section on page 268 :

“Healthy food is essential for all the functions of the body and this is especially true of the brain. Appropriate changes in a person’s diet can enhance their cognitive abilities, protect the brain from damage and counteract the effects of aging. Maximizing foods that are brain healthy (e.g., nutrient and fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, and legumes) and minimizing foods that put the brain at risk (e.g., fatty meat, high-fat dairy, refined, processed foods) may help slow cognitive decline in persons with ADRD. It is never too late to make positive changes. Older adults with dementia can make changes today that will improve their brain health tomorrow, which may help them lead a better quality of life.”

The Hygiology Post welcomes feedback from readers as to whether the articles (individually and/or collectively) help fulfill its vision and mission.


Louis DeCola, Jr.                                    © 2011 The Hygiology Post