While brain foods have traditionally been seen as oily fish or nuts, scientists now say that eating eggs may help to boost brain functions. Eggs were wrongly thought to increase the risk of dementia, but researchers say that the opposite could actually be the case.

Older studies have linked eating eggs with health risks including cardiac problems, high blood pressure and being overweight. This in turn was said to increase the risk of dementia. However, this latest piece of research has found that eating eggs only has a slight effect on blood cholesterol.

A team of Finnish researchers looked at the diet of nearly 2,500 men, who were aged between 42 and 60. Over a 22 year time period, 337 went on to develop a neurological condition such as Alzheimer’s. A third of these were found to carry the APOE4 gene. However, author Jyrki Virtanen said there was no evidence that eating eggs or cholesterol had an impact on risk of developing dementia.

Better brain performance

In fact, he said that eating eggs led to better performance when neuro-psychological tests were carried out. That, he said suggested that eating eggs did not increase risk, even in those with the gene that leads to them being more likely to develop dementia.

It is part of a growing body of research showing the health benefits of eggs. At the end of last year, research showed that eating one egg a day lowered the risk of suffering a stroke. Meanwhile, a team in America found that egg intake had no effect on coronary heart disease risk.

Each large egg contains protein and antioxidants as well as the vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin E has been shown in earlier research to reduce heart disease risks, while lutein is believed to prevent clogging or arteries, which can lead to more serious cardiac problems.