A specific type of fatty acids found in foods such as avocados, nuts (almonds, walnuts,cashews etc) and olive oil is linked to higher intelligence, new research finds.
Monounsaturated fatty acids — or MUFAs as it is normally called— have been regularly linked to health benefits.
The presence of these fatty acids in the diet may help to explain the health benefits of certain types of foods, such as:
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts and macadamias
- Canola oil
- Nut butters
Now the new research has linked high levels of these fatty acids to higher intelligence.
The conclusions come from a study of 99 healthy older adults.
Each provided blood samples and had intelligence tests along with brain scans.
The researchers found that people with higher levels of MUFAs in their blood were more intelligent.
Their intelligence was also linked to a more efficient attentional system in the brain.
Professor Aron Barbey, who led the study, said:
“Our findings provide novel evidence that MUFAs are related to a very specific brain network, the dorsal attentional network, and how optimal this network is functionally organized.”
The next step will be to directly test whether a higher intake of MUFAs will affect cognition and intelligence.
Professor Barbey said:
“Our ability to relate those beneficial cognitive effects to specific properties of brain networks is exciting.
This gives us evidence of the mechanisms by which nutrition affects intelligence and motivates promising new directions for future research in nutritional cognitive neuroscience..
Sourced from www.spring.org.uk