Researchers in Spain reveal that a Mediterranean Diet can improve brain function.
This is a study of over 400 people in Barcelona, Spain. The 55 to 80 year-old volunteers had an average age of 67. The parallel-group randomized clinical trial compares Mediterranean Diet supplemented with either nuts or olive oil, with a control group. The control group were advised to lower fat intake. Two study groups were assign a Mediterranean Diet with either 1 liter extra virgin olive oil per week (about 5 tablespoons per day) or 30 grams mixed nuts per day.
This latest research stems from earlier work that showed significant heart benefits from Mediterranean Diet. Emilio Ros, MD, PhD notes that the groups had different improvements between olive oil and nut supplementation:
The group with nuts did better, compared to the control group, in memory tests, memorizing names or words. While the olive oil group did better on tests that require speed of thought.
Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory: Video
That convinces me to increase my extra virgin olive oil consumption, and to stock up on walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Mediterranean Diet Improves Memory: Report
it is plausible that, by counteracting oxidative stress, antioxidant-rich foods might afford protection from neurodegenerative diseases. The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based, antioxidant-rich dietary pattern reputed for its many health benefits.
The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine, May 11 2015, Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Randomized Clinical Trial. It concludes:
Our results suggest that in an older population a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts may counteract age-related cognitive decline. The lack of effective treatments for cognitive decline and dementia points to the need of preventive strategies to delay the onset and/or minimize the effects of these devastating conditions. The present results with the Mediterranean diet are encouraging, but further investigation is warranted.
Of course, you do not need to live in Spain to get the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. You can make the right food choices anywhere to adopt healthy eating principles. If you don’t know how, just ask in my Foodary Healthy Eating forum. It’s never too late to change to a good diet. Change your lifestyle before you are ill. You have a tremendous health capsule – your daily food!