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The Mediterranean diet is linked to normal brain aging

  • Maintaining a Mediterranean diet as one age seems to lower the risk of cognitive decline.
  • The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating a wide range of nutritious foods.
  • It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer.

Maintaining a Mediterranean diet as one age seems to lower the risk of cognitive decline, according to research from the University of Barcelona in Spain. Men and women were equally represented among the nearly 850 French citizens over 65 who were followed for over ten years in this study.

Every few years, they tracked a panel of biomarkers, including the good omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are present in diet-related foods. Throughout the trial, each participant underwent five neuropsychological assessments.

Mediterranean diet

Individuals who consumed a plant-based diet high in good fats had a lower risk of cognitive decline with age. Because participants in earlier studies may not have accurately recalled or reported what they ate, the relationship between diet and cognitive decline was not well-studied.

For this reason, they decided to use biomarkers to track diet adherence—an objective method as opposed to a subjective one.

Mercè Pallàs, a pharmacology professor at the university’s Neurosciences Institute, described the new research as “a step forward towards the use of more accurate dietary assessment methodologies” in a news release regarding the findings, which were published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research in October.

According to registered dietitian Caroline Susie, the study “echoes previous studies that have shown that following a Mediterranean style diet is associated with healthy brain aging,” as Fortune puts it. The consumption of this diet has been associated with a lower risk of dementia, but no proven method of preventing dementia and cognitive decline has been discovered.

The Mediterranean diet, which has its origins in Middle Ages Greek and Roman cuisine as well as ancient Roman and Greek customs, emphasizes eating a wide range of nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, potatoes, and extra virgin olive oil along with herbs and spices (instead of salt).

Low-to-moderate amounts of dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, wine with meals (don’t start if you don’t drink), red, fatty, and/or processed meats, sweets, salt, highly processed foods, refined carbs, saturated fats, butter, and sugary drinks are all permitted.

A Mediterranean diet can help maintain a healthy body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and gut microbiota while also extending life expectancy. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer.

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