Mediterranean Diet Linked With Brain Health
Cognitive decline is natural as we get older, but a recent study suggests that following the Mediterranean diet may lower the rate at which it occurs and contribute to better cognitive functioning.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of people in the Mediterranean region of the world. It includes lots of omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Additionally, this diet has a very limited amount of refined grains, saturated fats, and sugars.
The researchers analyzed 12 studies that included 11 observational studies and one randomized trial. 9 of the 12 studies found an association between following a Mediterranean diet and improved cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline, and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
However, no consistent association between the Mediterranean diet and improved mild cognitive impairment found.
Researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the July 2013 issue of Epidemiology.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet may improve heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and even decrease the overall risk of mortality.