Mediterranean Diet Shown To Improve Brain Ageing-And Help Prevent Vascular Dementia

A significant number of people believe that memory loss, inability to learn new concepts and the risk for vascular dementia (mini strokes leading to cognitive impairment) are a natural part of aging. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a society we are so conditioned to witness aging adults succumb to ‘senior moments’ where they appear to forget where they are or exhibit poor control over normal daily functions, including driving a motor vehicle.

For the better part of the last two decades, medical professionals have been advising people to follow a low-fat diet to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, yet death from heart attacks and vascular-related conditions has continued to explode during that period, making heart disease the leading killer of Americans. Researchers publishing in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry have found that eating a Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet.

[The] study shows that olive oil and nuts added to a healthy Mediterranean diet lowers cognitive decline by nearly twenty percent

Scientists from the University of Navarra in Spain analyzed 522 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 with no history of cardiovascular disease, but considered at-risk based on metabolic profile or family history. Participants were randomly allocated to a Mediterranean diet with added olive oil or mixed nuts or a control group receiving advice to follow the low-fat diet typically recommended to prevent heart attack and stroke.

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