Sydney: A Mediterranean diet can improve your cognitive function, reduce chances of Alzheimer and improve heart conditions, shows a new study.
The main foods in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) include plant foods, such as leafy greens, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, beans, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
The MedDiet is also low in dairy, has minimal use of red meat, and uses olive oil as its major source of fat.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition the researchers investigated if and how a MedDiet may impact cognitive processes over time.
"The most surprising result was that the positive effects were found in countries around the whole world. So, regardless of being located outside of what is considered the Mediterranean region, the positive cognitive effects of a higher adherence to a MedDiet were similar in all evaluated papers," said Roy Hardman, researcher at Swineburne University.
The study revealed that MedDiet had positive effects on attention, language and memory in particular, including improvements in delayed recognition and visual constructs.
The MedDiet offers the opportunity to change some of the modifiable risk factors like reducing inflammatory responses, increasing micronutrients, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles by using olive oils as the main source of dietary fats.
Maintaining weight and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improving cellular energy metabolism are some other positives of having MedDiet.
The researchers also stressed that the study in this area is important due to the expected extensive population aging over the next 20-30 years.
They suggested that the utilisation of a dietary pattern, such as the MedDiet, will be an essential tool to maintain quality of life and reduce the potential social and economic burdens of manifested cognitive declines like dementia.