Study associates Mediterranean food with better cognitive functioning

Photo credit: 
Binge's picture
January 09, 2017
The MeDi (Mediterranean Diet) typically includes fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, some amounts of fish, dairy and wine and limited amounts of meats, and has been linked to a lower risk of brain diseases.

Those who like a typical sunny day spread with grilled fish, tabouleh, hummous, feta, olives and a tall glass of cold orange juice have got reason to indulge in their favourite kind of leisure more often. A study published by the American Academy of Neurology established that following a Mediterranean diet can influence structural changes in the brain.

The study followed participants from the age of 73 through to 76 who either followed the Mediterranean diet or followed the normal Scottish diet. The diet structures of the participants were tracked through food questionnaires and the changes in the brain structure were tracked through MRI scans.

Normally, the brain begins to shrink during the ageing process. This, in turn, affects mental processes like learning and memory.

The results showed that there was a 0.5 percent difference in volume reduction between participants who adhered to the diet and those who did not. Participants who did not follow the diet showed a decrease in brain volume over three years.

This study infers that there may be a connection between consuming fresh food with less amounts of meat and dairy, and the ageing process of the brain.