02/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Can A Diet Improve Your Memory?

For Carole Carson, the golden years weren't so shiny when it came to her mental clarity.

"I was sort of a retired lump on a log," said 67-year-old Carson, referring to herself seven years ago.

But after going on a restricted calorie diet, along with an exercise regime, Carson, who lives in Nevada City, Calif., lost about 50 pounds. Her life -- and her mind -- perked up again.

"Every kind of mental function improved," Carson said.

Many people who have cut calories experience the "mental clarity" and increased creativity Carson said was an unexpected benefit of a healthier lifestyle.

Now, researchers have shown a definite link between caloric restriction (CR) and mental function, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.