No, despite the name of this post, this isn’t about Dr. Paul in the ’70s.
The title of this journal article pretty much says it all: The impact of diet and exercise on brain plasticity and disease. [Pinilla FG, Nutr Health. 2006;18(3):277-84]
“Lifestyle involves our preference to engage in behaviors that can remarkably influence the fitness level of our body and brain. Dietary factors are a powerful means to influence brain function on a daily basis. Equally impressive is the action of exercise on cognitive function as documented by studies showing that exercise enhances learning and memory.”
Brain plasticity refers to the capability of the brain to lay down new neuronal pathways, make new connections – in other words, the brain’s function is improved at every stage of life when a healthy diet and exercise are a not only part of your lifestyle, but they are your lifestyle.
“A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that exercise has a positive impact on human health, including neurological health. Aerobic exercise, which is supposed to enhance cardiovascular functions and metabolism, also induces neurotrophic factors that affect hippocampal neurons, thereby improving spatial learning and memory.” [Cassilhas RC, et al Spatial memory is improved by aerobic and resistance exercise through divergent molecular mechanisms. Neuroscience 2012 Jan 27; 202:309-317]
Gomez-Pinilla F Collaborative effects of diet and exercise on cognitive enhancement. Nutr Health 2011;20(3-4):165-9
Gomez-Pinilla F The combined effects of exercise and foods in preventing neurological and cognitive disorders. Prev Med 2011 Jun1;52 Suppl 1:S75-80. Epub 2011 Jan 31
Fish Oil and its Effect on the Brain:
Wu A, Gomez-Pinilla F Docosahexaenoic acid dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition. Neuroscience 2008 Aug 26;155(3):751-9. Epub 2008 Jun 17