The economic burdens of manifested cognitive declines like dementia, and the problems emanating from the maintenance of quality of life can now be controlled through the utilization of Mediterranean diet, an essential dietary pattern.
A study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Nutrition shows reduced conversion to Alzheimer’s, and improved cognitive function as some of the benefits of sticking to the Mediterranean diet. The study added that the dietary pattern can improve your mind, as well your heart.
Mediterranean diet comprises plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, cereals, seeds, nuts, and legumes. It’s also low in dairy, has minimal red meat, and depends only on olive oil as its major source of fat.
After evaluating available studies between 2000-2015 on the impact of MedDiet on cognitive processes over time, Roy Hardman from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne Australia and his colleagues, found 18 papers that met their strict inclusion criteria out of the 135 studies.
Roy Hardman, the leading author noted improvement in language, working memory, recognition, visual construct and and executive function as some of the positive effects of Mediterranean diet that were listed in the previous studies.
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;” Roy said.
The higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is believed to slow down the rate of cognitive decline, because, it’s capable of changing some of the modifiable risk factors.
These include 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 and maybe changing the gut micro-biota, although this has not been examined to a larger extent yet.
Some studies on younger adults done via computerized assessments showed that, the benefits of Mediterranean diet were not limited to older adults.
Reference & Further Readings: Roy J. Hardman, Greg Kennedy, Helen Macpherson, Andrew B. Scholey, Andrew Pipingas. Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials. Frontiers in Nutrition, 2016; 3 DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00022