There are many studies that indicate a Mediterranean-style diet may lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and may even reduce cancer risk. A recent study from a university in Spain has shown that there might be brain protection, too. And as we all know, the brain ages as we get older, just as the rest of our body ages.
Study Stats: 522 men and women ranging in age from 55-80; they were all at risk for heart disease. Each was placed on one of three diets, and they followed it for six years.
The 3 Study Diets:
- Mediterranean + extra olive oil
- Mediterranean + mixed nuts
- Low-fat diet
Study Results after 6 years: Even though these study participants were at increased risk for some type of circulation-based event – like a stroke – the healthy Mediterranean diet that they consumed offered artery protection in the brain. They were assessed for language skills, memory and abstract thinking.
Bottom line: the Mediterranean-style diets = better brain function.
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- Fish – only modest amounts of meat and dairy
- Healthy oils such as olive oil and nuts