It’s been a mystery to health freaks for as long as that’s ever been a thing as to just how the folks along the Mediterranean live such long, healthy lives and minimal risk of heart disease. After all, their diet is rich in fatty acids and a mild alcohol consumption.
But it has just come out that eating such a diet could prevent your brain from shrinking. People who follow such a diet end up with bigger brains and slow down the ageing process.
These results are exciting, as they raise the possibility that people may potentially prevent brain shrinking and the effects of ageing on the brain simply by following a healthy diet.
674 people at an average age of 80 who lived in northern Manhattan and did not have dementia were studied. Those who had closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet had a brain volume, on average, of around 13.11 millilitres greater than that of those who had not done so.
Their grey matter volume was 5 millilitres greater, while their white matter 6.4 millilitres greater – which is pretty much five years of ageing.
The magnitude of the association with brain measures was relatively small. But when you consider that eating at least five of the recommended Mediterranean diet components has an association comparable to five years of age, that is substantial.
So what should you be consuming – and not consuming – to achieve the desired effect?
Eat a lot of fish and tone down on the meat and dairy. Make sure you also have a large amount of vegetables, pulses, fruit, cereal, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil. And don’t forget about that mild alcohol consumption.
There is an increasing amount of evidence that eating a healthy diet rich in fish, vegetables, legumes and nuts is good for your brain. This study delves further into the potential benefits that diet could have, but it does not prove that a Mediterranean-style diet can stop your brain from shrinking as you age.
Another aspect to come out the study was deterring the effects of dementia: people should also quit smoking, exercise regularly and keep their blood pressure low.
While this study suggests there is an association between eating a Mediterranean diet and brain volume in healthy older people, we don’t know whether these particular food choices alter dementia risk. It’s hard to know from this study what the underlying reason for the link between diet and brain volume might be, and what other factors may be involved.
[imagesource:here] If you're reading this from what is likely a long and depressing que...
[imagesource:here] I don't know about you, but after months of sitting around in my PJs...
In recent weeks, heavily armed insurgents linked with the Islamic State, or ISIS, have tak...
[imagesource: Getty] Once you hit 30, the wrinkles start to arrive. It's a solid rem...
[imagesource:here] The Last Dance, whilst clearly skewed towards presenting Michael Jor...