Mediterranean diet reduced rate of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. So far, the Mediterranean diet has been acclaimed for its benefits to heart health, but much research has also shown its benefits to the brain.
The Mediterranean diet is full of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, fish, and alcohol in moderation.
The study was conducted by researchers fever has been found that the Mediterranean diet can work to slow cognitive decline in the elderly. The study looked at more than 4,000 older adults who closely followed the Mediterranean style of eating.
The study results showed that most adheres to the diet had slower rates of cognitive decline, compared with participants whose eating habits to the Mediterranean diet has not looked as closely.
Participants underwent cognitive tests every three years and completed questionnaires about the frequency of consumption of 139 foods.
The maximum score a participant could have received was 55, indicating a complete adherence to the diet. The average score among participants was 28.
Lead study author Christy Tangney said, “It is always beneficial to eat healthily. But we’re finding more and more evidence that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have the right idea, because they are actually helping to prevent some the serious health problems that are common among older adults. ”
The Mediterranean diet works as follows:
- Seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain breads and whole grain cereals, rice and pasta
- Nuts taken as snacks but limited due to high calorie count
- replaced butter and margarine with olive oil or canola oil
- Herbs and spices used for seasoning salt instead of
- limited to red meat only a few times a month
- fish and poultry a few times a month
- High-fat dairy products exchanged with skim milk or nonfat
- Moderate amounts of red wine
Apart from the foods you should eat, diet also emphasizes foods you should not eat, like processed foods and trans fats.
Mediterranean diet reduced the rates of cognitive impairment, reduced conversion to Alzheimer’s disease, and improvement of cognitive function
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to slow cognitive decline, reducing progression of Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function. The researchers evaluated all available studies between 2000 and 2015 looking at the impact of diet on cognitive process over time.
Lead author Roy Hardman said. “The most surprising result was that the positive effects in countries around the world found themselves So regardless of being outside of what is considered the Mediterranean region, the effects positive cognitive greater adherence to a MedDiet were similar in all documents evaluated. “
“The MedDiet offers the opportunity to change some of the modifiable risk factors. These include reducing inflammatory responses, increased micronutrient improve vitamin and mineral imbalances, the change of lipid profiles by using olive oil as the main source of dietary fat, weight maintenance and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improve metabolism of cellular energy and perhaps change the intestinal microbiota, although this does not has been examined further, however, “added Hardman.
The results also revealed that the benefits were not just for seniors, but could be extended to all people.
Mediterranean diet can reduce the loss of brain cells (brain atrophy) in old age: Previous study
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the loss of brain cells (brain atrophy) in old age. Researchers have found that eating too much meat can actually reduce the size of your brain, but the consumption similar to the Mediterranean diet can help keep the brain healthy in old age. The findings suggest that over 65 who consume more fish, fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil, had a higher brain volume, compared with those who did not follow the diet.
Study author Dr. Yian Gu said: “It is encouraging to see that the more we stick to this Mediterranean diet, get more protection against brain atrophy [shrinkage] For people interested in diet and style. life that lead to better health, I think this is another study consistent with previous studies indicating that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet. “
Dr. Gu said the study itself does not imply causation between diet and brain volume, but reveals an association between the two.
In previous studies, it was found that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Gu and his team divided 674 adults in two groups depending on how close their diet was to the Mediterranean diet. Each individual underwent an MRI to measure brain volume and thickness. The questionnaires also filled out to obtain information on their diet and eating patterns.
Those who do not follow the Mediterranean diet were found to have smaller brain volumes, equivalent to a five-year-old.
Dr. José Masdeu, the National Center for Alzheimer Nantz at Methodist Hospital in Houston, said: “I think the bottom line is clear a diet containing less meat and maybe more fish is good for you there…. negative studies [focusing on] Mediterranean diet as well, but there are several that confirm a positive effect. so it is provisional, but is the strongest preventive approach that we [promoting brain health] along with exercise. ”
Dr. Gu recommends eating three to five servings of fish a week and limiting other types of meat to 3.5 ounces per day for optimal brain protection.
Dr. Malaz Boustani of the American Federation for Aging Research said… “This is an encouraging study that really make us work harder to see how we can really encourage people to change their diet to accommodate the Mediterranean diet. “
The findings were published in neurology .