Does Mediterranean Diet Really Help with Brain Aging? Research Says Yes

The Mediterranean diet emerges from the eating patterns followed by countries such as Greece boasts a strong reputation. It has been ranked among the best diet plans to follow. Besides, extensive evidence applauds the meal plan for the health benefits that it yields.

The meal plan encourages a healthy heart and aids with cognitive impairment as well. The latest research explores the latter benefit of the Mediterranean diet further. It confirms that a healthy diet can assist in brain aging.

Mediterranean Diet Linked To Improved Brain Aging

Recent study, which is published in the journal Neurolmage concludes that the Mediterranean meal plan can help people age healthily. The researchers found links between the blood markers of some nutrients in the meal plan and mental performance in senior individuals.

Past research has learned that the diet plan can help improve brain function among elderly folks. This study builds on it and takes a deeper look into the matter. To this end, the researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign employed MRI scans to find the improvement in the brain’s connectivity.

Plus, they also measured nutrient blood levels instead of using diet surveys to learn more. Blood markers of 32 key nutrients of the Mediterranean diet were measured in 116 health adults.

The investigators found links between five nutrient biomarker patterns and saw improved results on tests of general intelligence, memory, and executive function. These links worked together from what that the investigators learned.

These included omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, riboflavin, carotenoids, lycopene, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin D. Other links between another three nutrient biomarker patterns and improved functional brain network efficiency.

An important factor to note here is that the more networks in the brain, the easier it is to retain and access information in the brain.

The Mediterranean Diet Plan Details and Nutrients

The Mediterranean meal plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, whole grains, and seafood. What’s more, it limits the intake of red meat and sweets. The biomarkers that the recent study learned came from various nutrients available in the meal plan.

Omega-3 fatty acids are provided by the Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and fish content of the Mediterranean diet plan. Omega-6 fatty acids are plentiful in pistachios, pine nuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Similarly, lycopene is a red pigment which is abundant among fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes. Fortified cereals, some green veggies, and eggs offer vitamin B12 or riboflavin.

Additionally, carrots and sweet potatoes provide carotenoids, whereas, folate comes from foods such as nuts, beans, and peas. Lastly, fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel give vitamin D. The vitamin can also be availed from some fortified foods.

In A Nutshell

The Mediterranean diet is a very healthy meal. Not only does it improve brain function but also supports healthy aging. It has been widely praised for these and other health merits. For instance, the Dietary Guideline 2015-2020 in the US terms the Mediterranean eating pattern as an example of a healthy diet.