An oat extract could boost your brain power and maintain it even unto old age, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of South Australia (USA) Nutritional Physiology Research Centre are investigating whether an oat extract can improve mental health in older adults.

Peter Howe, U.S. research professor, said while the physical health benefits of oats were well known, there was growing interest in how oats could improve mental health.

“With the proportion of ageing population set to increase over the next several decades, mental disability through age-related cognitive decline looms as a major public health problem with enormous economic and social impact,” he said.

“In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of foods to enhance cognition. We’re embarking on a study to look more closely at how an extract of wild green oats can potentially improve cognitive performance in older adults, especially when under duress.”

Janet Bryan from USA School of Psychology has worked extensively in the field of cognitive ageing and nutrition and is lead study researcher, said a U.S. release. “Oats and oat extracts have long been recognised for their health properties. Green oat preparations have been used to combat fatigue, irritable mood and poor concentration for hundreds of years,” added Ms. Bryan.

“Wild green oats contain certain bioactive nutrients which may assist in improving blood flow in the brain, which in turn may help with attention and concentration,” Ms. Bryan said.