Dietary Intake and Cognition and Emotional Health in Older Adults
The purpose of this review of literature was to explore the relationship between food and nutrient intake and cognition and emotional health in older adults. Nutrition is a key factor in successful aging, and a healthy diet is crucial to the psychological quality of life. Healthy lifestyles have been shown to help improve longevity and overall health in older adults. The prevalence of older adults in the United States, and the world, is growing rapidly, as is the prevalence of older adults showing signs of cognitive decline, dementia, or depression. Prevention practices help decrease the risk of developing diseases and have the most impact if they are implemented before individuals reach 65 years old. Mental and emotional health disorders, such as cognitive decline and depression, are not always preventable, which is why there is a need for more evidence- based research that can be implemented into practice to help manage certain health conditions. Several studies found that the increased consumption of fruit and vegetables was linked to a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, and other research found that B vitamins are especially important in reducing the risk for negative neurological situations. Although there is no research that can definitively prove that a specific dietary intake will prevent or help manage cognitive impairment, dementia, or depression, all of the studies in this review provided data that did support a significant relationship between food intake (fruits and vegetables) and cognitive and emotional health in older adults.