The Mediterranean diet is known for its amazing heart health benefits, but the new study shows that it can benefit the brain as well.
The diet puts emphasis on fresh and organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. Fats are replaced with healthy fats like organic olive oil and red meat is limited to a few times a month. Herbs and spices are used to flavor foods instead of salt, and fish and poultry are consumed about twice a week.
Lead author Roy Hardman, and his team looked at a number of studies from 2000-2015 on the subjective of the MedDiet and cognitive health.
“The most surprising result was that the positive effects were found in countries around the whole world. So regardless of being located outside of what is considered the Mediterranean region, the positive cognitive effects of a higher adherence to a MedDiet were similar in all evaluated papers;” Hardman said.
“Why is a higher adherence to the MedDiet related to slowing down the rate of cognitive decline? The MedDiet offers the opportunity to change some of the modifiable risk factors,” he explained.
“These include reducing inflammatory responses, increasing micronutrients, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles by using olive oils as the main source of dietary fats, maintaining weight and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improving cellular energy metabolism and maybe changing the gut micro-biota, although this has not been examined to a larger extent yet.”
The study showing that the Mediterranean diet helps fight Alzheimer’s disease was published the journal Frontiers In Nutrition.
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1. “Eat Mediterranean: Your Brain Will Reap the Benefit.” EurekAlert! Frontiers, n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.
2. “Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials.” Frontiers In Nutrition. Frontiers In Nutrition, n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.