Wight loss diets have a very bad reputation among the medical community. Most of the time, diets are believed to be the easy road towards a beautiful slim body and end up leaving people weak, stressed out and not exactly thin in the end. But the Mediterranean diet just might be the exception, after having received serious praises from the medical community.
What doctors found beneficial about the Mediterranean diet however, was not its ability to shake off pounds, but the fact that it contains exactly the right food that can significantly improve brain function.
Dr. Emilio Ros, of Madrid’s Instuto de Salud Carlos III conducted a study that was published in the scientific journal Jama Internal Medicine. It concluded that eating olive oil and a wide variety of nuts on a regular basis has notable positive effects on the brain.
In this study, Dr. Ros and his colleagues have followed approximately 350 patients aged 50 to 80 all throughout their four-year journey with three different types of diets. The first group was prescribed a low-fat diet, the second the Mediterranean diet with supplemented olive oil intake and the third also the Mediterranean diet, but supplemented by oil-rich nut intake.
The subjects were followed for the entire four years of diet and their brain function was assessed by using attention, thinking and memory tests. In accordance with these tests, the findings of the study have good news for the fans of the Mediterranean diet.
In both groups that followed the Mediterranean diet there was a significant improvement in brain function. Furthermore, the group that added 1 liter of olive oil per week to the diet has been shown to have enhanced memory skills. As for the group who added 30 grams of nuts per day, they seemed to have superior executive function abilities.
All of this came in contrast with the third group, who followed a low fat diet. They have shown deteriorated cognitive function at the end of the four-year plan.
Doctors explain that healthy fatty foods like olive oil and nuts are extremely important for the maintenance of the coating around neurons, called the myelin sheath, that mainly consists of fat and protein.
By eating a sufficient amount of the right fatty foods, you can ensure that you body has enough resources to produce and maintain the myelin sheath around your neurons and thus, keep them protected and healthy.
The Mediterranean diet mainly consists of rich beautiful fruit and vegetables, that can be prepared in a wide variety of salads and grilled dishes alongside white meat and fish, and also quite a few types of cheese.
Then, some charming fresh green condiments like rosemary, savory or mint are added and of course, some olive oil as dressing and you have a delicious and healthy alternative to red meat and fried food.
It is very important not to confuse the Mediterranean diet with Mediterranean cooking, because there are quite a few significant differences. The diet is nothing like the local Italian dishes prepared with lard and other unhealthy fatty foods, but manages to follow the right principles regarding this type of cooking.
As for the beneficial effects on brain activity, they are simply good news for now. Dr. Ros himself explains that further research needs to be conducted before jumping to farfetched conclusions. The Mediterranean diet, no matter what it is improved and enhanced with cannot cure diseases like Alzheimer’s or even prevent them.
However, what it most definitely can do is to offer a healthy nutritional balance for aging individuals and provide valuable aid in postponing the aging of the brain.
“It’s never too late to change your dietary patterns to improve your health,”, says Dr. Ros.
And if you’re willing to throw in a few hours at the gym, the slimming effect will kick in as well, making the Mediterranean diet the ideal choice for aging adults, but not only! By including a more generous portion of olive oil and nuts, this diet might keep you healthy for a long time. And it is never too early to start treating your body right.
Image Source: harvardvanguard
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