Want a healthier and younger brain? Go for the Mediterranean Diet!
Most fitness freaks are lovers of the Mediterranean Diet which is also known as the heart-healthy diet. You are free to gorge on leafy greens, fishes and fruits and of course the classic olive oil, which is the ultimate star when it comes to Mediterranean cooking. The omega-3 rich fishes help your skin retain its elasticity and the wonder olive oil and fruits like tomatoes are abundant in antioxidants and help prevent skin damage from the sun. Apart from this, eating Mediterranean foods help protect the skin against melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer. But a recent study has revealed that there is more to Mediterranean diet, than just the benefits that people already know. According to researchers, Mediterranean diet can help individuals in a great way in terms of brain size and cognitive function by making their brains younger and healthier and prohibiting the shrinking of the brain despite growing age. Now this comes off as a crucial revelation giving a sigh of relief to everyone in an era where millions of people are diagnosed with memory loss and Alzheimer’s with growing age. Mediterranean diet can inhibit such possibilities in an individual.
1 Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Scientific studies conducted in the past have already validated a link between Mediterranean diet and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease along with other degenerative disorders associated with the brain. It is known that people, who exercise on a regular basis, avoid drinking and smoking and keep themselves mentally stimulated, usually have healthier brains than those people who are not much into diet and exercise which are the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle. A recent study published in the journal Neurology shows how a diet that is easy to follow can help in making your brain up to 5 years younger.
2 The research
The lead researcher of the study Yian Gu of Columbia University of New York unveiled that shrinking of brain is associated with the risk of developing degenerative brain conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. The study analysed the brains of 674 individuals living in the New York City with average age of the group being 80.
The participants of the study were asked about the kind of food they had the previous year. The brains of the participants were further scanned through an MRI. Then the participants were categorised into two different groups on the basis of the diet they followed last year.
3 The astonishing results!
Now one group included people who followed the Mediterranean style of diet while the other group was of those who did not. Once the comparative analysis was completed, the researchers found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet style possessed a heavier brain with brain volume of 13.11 milliliters more than that of the other group. The group consuming Mediterranean diet food were also found to have more white matter and gray matter.
Yian Gu affirmed that such results were indeed exciting and they raise the possibility that individuals can now potentially prevent the shrinking of brain and the effects of growing age on the brain merely by following a healthy diet- the Mediterranean Diet.
4 An easy to follow diet
The Mediterranean diet is an easy diet to follow. This simple diet involves consuming meals that are derived mostly from plants: fruits, vegetables, beans and cereals. The best thing about Mediterranean style of diet is that you don’t have to totally refrain from your favourite non-vegetarian fares. You can eat poultry and fish at least twice every week. Another good news is that you also don’t have to stay away from carbs even. You can have three servings of carbs every day, mainly from the variety of whole grains. Yes, you do have to limit the amount of saturated fat, dairy and meat. Cooking with olive oil is encouraged and butter is supposed to be avoided. So if you play smart and follow a strict Mediterranean diet; you can have a wonderful health and with health it also means a healthy brain.
Mediterranean diet rightly comes with a host of health benefits from longer life to weight management to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer and now there is an added advantage of a younger and healthier brain. What more can you ask for in a diet? Mediterranean diet is just the thing to go for!