How Med diet helps elderly to maintain brain power
A Mediterranean diet can help older adults maintain bigger brains, research has shown.
People who stuck to the diet for three years had less age-related brain shrinkage than those who did not, scientists found.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, beans and cereal grains and also includes fish, dairy products and wine, while limiting consumption of red meat and poultry.
Scientists in Scotland carried out brain scans on 401 people in their 70s who provided information about what they ate. Those who adhered most closely to a Mediterranean diet retained much greater brain volume after three years than those with different eating habits. Diet accounted for about half the variation.
Lead researcher Dr Michelle Luciano, from the University of Edinburgh, said: "As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells, which can affect learning and memory. This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health."