Objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between nutrition status, executive cognitive functions, and cognitive flexibility; and to analyze the role of gender, age, and nutrition status in the prediction of executive cognitive functions and cognitive flexibility in a sample of Iranian adults. Background. This study is based on the hierarchy of needs, health beliefs, developmental, cognitive and psychophysiological conceptualizations of nutrition and their plausible influences on human cognitive functions and cognitive flexibility.

Materials and Methods. The randomly selected sample consisted of 200 adult participants (M=99 and F=101) from Eghlid City, the north of Fars province, Iran. A demographic questionnaire, the Nutrition Assessment Inventory (NAI), the Amsterdam Executive Function Inventory (AEFI), and the Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS) were used.

Results. Findings showed significant positive relationships between healthy nutrition (diet-oriented nutrition and high fat foods subscales of Nutrition Assessment Inventory), the evaluation coping subscale, and the total score of Cognitive Flexibility Inventory. In addition, age and nutritional status had a significant impact with regards to predicting cognitive flexibility and executive cognitive functions.

Conclusions. Given the significant positive relationship between nutrition status and cognitive flexibility, and the role of gender and nutrition status on executive cognitive functions and mental flexibility, this study may offer beneficial approaches for nutrition and cognitive health programs by clinicians and health education professionals.

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