Cognitive Decline Could Be Reduced With a Mediterranean-style Diet

(HONOR WHITEMAN, MEDICAL NEWS TODAY ) A wealth of studies have suggested that a healthful diet may help to protect the brain against the effects of aging. New research adds fuel to the fire, after finding that following a Mediterranean-style diet in later life could help to stave off cognitive decline.

PHOTO: adamansel52, Creative Commons

Researchers found that older adults who had diets similar to the Mediterranean diet or the Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay (MIND) – which is a diet that incorporates features of the Mediterranean diet – scored significantly better on cognitive tests than those who followed less healthful diets.

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Study co-author Dr. Kristine Yaffe, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Low in junk foods and dairy products and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the most healthful diets to follow.

Not only have studies linked the Mediterranean diet to better heart health and reduced cancer risk, but research has also shown the diet to have cognitive benefits.

Another diet associated with better cognitive function is the appropriately named MIND diet. This eating plan consists of 10 foods that are considered beneficial for the brain, many of which are included in the Mediterranean diet, such as vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil.

For the new study, Dr. Yaffe and colleagues set out to gain a better understanding of the link between Mediterranean-style diets and cognitive function, noting that “variation between studies makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions.” …  READ FULL ARTICLE at