A new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal has found that beyond being associated with a longer and healthier life, the Mediterranean diet, when supplemented with a handful of nuts, could improve the cognitive function in the elderly and postpone age-related cognitive decline.
Thanks to the 1.5 million adults around the Mediterranean that follow this diet of veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, lean meats and beans, scientists studying these people find that it can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The men and women who took part in the study were given cognitive tests to assess brain health. After four years the tests were repeated. The control diet group eating the lower-fat diet did worse than those following the nut-and-oil-rich Mediterranean diet in their daily lives.
Scientists point to the rich antioxidants that prevent cells from suffering oxidative stress. They believe that regular consumption of the Mediterranean diet can improve cholesterol, boost blood vessel health and that in turn can play a role in the development of age-related declines in cognitive function.