Mental Health

Older People’s Memory Could Benefit From Cereal Consumption

The implications and effects of our diet on our brain and overall health are all well-documented, with countless releases and articles telling us what to eat and what to avoid if we want our ol’ grey matter to perform at its best even as we age. Want to prevent cognitive decline? Then fill up that diet with fatty foods, leafy greens, beans and legumes.

New research, however, has recently investigated whether we actually need to adjust our diet as we age.

Conducted in Australia and published in the International Journal of Public Health, the new study aimed to find out whether it’s critical that we change and adjust our diet as we age, if only to benefit our brain more. Using data from over 139,000 people, the researchers found that eating more or less of certain foods at different stages of life is, of course, linked to memory loss.

For the most part, their findings turned out things we already know such as diets high in protein help support better memory. However, they also found that when it comes to continually supporting our memory retention skills, grains may play a very important role.

"Our present study implies that the healthy eating suggestions of cereals consumption in the prevention of memory loss for older people may differ compared to other age groups," Luna Xu said.

However, the cereal in this case doesn’t refer to a bowl of milk filled with breakfast cereal (although a lot of them can also be healthy). In this case, cereal refers to grains such as oats, corn and, of course, wheat.

According to the researchers, these dietary interventions can be rather useful when it comes to improving health, especially for the aging community.

"The dietary intervention in chronic disease prevention and management, by taking into consideration the fact that older populations often simultaneously deal with multiple chronic conditions, is a real challenge," Xu added.

While the study points to elderly people eating more grains and cereal to help their health, it doesn’t mean that younger people should avoid eating them. After all, it’s best to start ‘em young, right?

20 Whole Grains Be sure to get actual whole grain products, and not just ones that say it on the label. Many “whole grain” products are actually just filled with refined grains that won’t do you much good. Getty Images