6 dietary habits to prevent functional impairment as you age

Researchers in China and the United States recently published a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showing a connection between diet and functional impairment in older adults.

The researchers analyzed the dietary habits and physical and mental functions of participants in 2 cohort-based studies. The total number of participants was over 30,000, they ranged in age from 70 to 86, and the average participation span in the study was just over 14 years.

The functions the researchers examined were twofold:

  • Mental: memory, decision-making
  • Physical: walking, hearing, vision

What the researchers discovered was that the higher the quality of participants’ diet, the lower the likelihood of developing functional impairments, both mental and physical. Specifically, participants’ diets had the following qualities:

  • Higher fish consumption
  • Higher poultry consumption
  • Higher vegetable consumption
  • Higher fruit consumption
  • Moderate red meat consumption
  • Lower rice consumption

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 25 years.