Mind Science Centre has collaborated with NUH Memory Clinic and NUH Dietetics to create a “Food for the Mind” booklet focusing on nutrition for healthy ageing. This publication serves as a reminder to inculcate healthy eating habits and to adopt a varied and nutritious diet.

As life expectancies increase, the need to promote and identify factors related to healthy ageing becomes more important than ever. A core feature of ageing is neurodegeneration, the progressive loss of neurons in the brain, which leads to cognitive decline and in severe cases, dementia. Although neurodegeneration is largely a biological process, our lifestyle choices are likely to make an impact on the maintenance of brain health.

The brain consumes approximately 20% of the energy produced by the food we eat – greater than any other organ in the body. Diets consisting of high quality and nutrient-dense foods have been shown to stave off the process of neurodegeneration and development of chronic cardiovascular diseases – which are also risk factors of neurodegeneration. This means that the quantity and varieties of food we supply the brain with impact how sharp and alert our minds are.

For a high resolution version of the Food for the Mind booklet, please download the PDF version here.


The Food Editorial is a joint collaboration between the NUS Mind Science Centre, NUH Memory Clinic and NUH Department of Dietetics. We have attached the reference list below should you be interested in the in-depth studies.

Amieva, H., Meillon, C., Helmer, C., Barberger-Gateau, P., & Dartigues, J. F. (2013). Ginkgo Biloba Extract and Long-Term Cognitive Decline: A 20-Year Follow-Up Population-Based Study. PLoS ONE8(1), e52755.

Head, E. (2009). Oxidative Damage and Cognitive Dysfunction: Antioxidant Treatments to Promote Healthy Brain Aging. Neurochemical Research, 34(4), 670–678.

Kennedy, D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68.

Letenneur, L., Proust-Lima, C., Le Gouge, A., Dartigues, J. F., & Barberger-Gateau, P. (2007). Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period. American Journal of Epidemiology.

Llewellyn, D. J., Lang, I. A., Langa, K. M., Muniz-Terrera, G., Phillips, C. L., Cherubini, A., … Melzer, D. (2010). Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Archives of Internal Medicine.

McLellan, T. M., Caldwell, J. A., & Lieberman, H. R. (2016). A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 71, 294–312.

Morris, M. C., Tangney, C. C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F. M., Barnes, L. L., Bennett, D. A., & Aggarwal, N. T. (2015). MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging. Alzheimer’s & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 11(9), 1015–1022.

Morris, M. C., Tangney, C. C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F. M., Bennett, D. A., & Aggarwal, N. T. (2015). MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 11(9), 1007–1014.

Moore, E., Mander, A., Ames, D., Carne, R., Sanders, K., & Watters, D. (2012). Cognitive impairment and vitamin B12: A review. International Psychogeriatrics, 24(4), 541-556. doi:10.1017/S1041610211002511

Sarker, M. R., & Franks, S. F. (2018). Efficacy of curcumin for age-associated cognitive decline: a narrative review of preclinical and clinical studies. GeroScience, 40(2), 73–95.

Smith, P. J., & Blumenthal, J. A. (2016). Dietary Factors and Cognitive Decline. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, 3(1), 53–64.

Snitz, B. E., O’Meara, E. S., Carlson, M. C., Arnold, A. M., Ives, D. G., Rapp, S. R., … DeKosky, S. T. (2009). Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA : The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(24), 2663–2670.

Soni, M., Kos, K., Lang, I. A., Jones, K., Melzer, D., & Llewellyn, D. J. (2012). Vitamin D and cognitive function. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation. Supplementum, 243, 79–82.

Tangney, C. C., Li, H., Wang, Y., Barnes, L., Schneider, J. A., Bennett, D. A., & Morris, M. C. (2014). Relation of DASH- and Mediterranean-like dietary patterns to cognitive decline in older persons. Neurology83(16), 1410–1416.

Zhang, H.-F., Huang, L.-B., Zhong, Y.-B., Zhou, Q.-H., Wang, H.-L., Zheng, G.-Q., & Lin, Y. (2016). An Overview of Systematic Reviews of Ginkgo biloba Extracts for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8, 276.