By Lola Augustine Brown
The virtues of the Mediterranean diet have long been extolled. We all know by now that healthy doses of olive oil and plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are keys to living a healthier life and avoiding nasty conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Now new research published in January in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that following the Mediterranean diet may help preserve our grey matter.
The research involved 967 healthy, dementia-free Scottish 73-year-olds who were followed for three years. Those who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet had half the expected reduction in brain volume.
Although researchers couldn’t say precisely which elements of the Mediterranean diet were responsible for preserving brain volume, they commented that eating more fish and less meat didn’t seem to be a factor, and that it might be the combination of all the elements of the diet that produces the protective effect.
Photos: Photo: iStock/enisu. iStock/Dinamir Predov (oil), Igor Dutina (wine), and Kateryna Sednieva.