As we get older, we tend to lose sharpness and clarity of mind. We experience forgetfulness and memory lapses. Brain enhancing activities like doing crossword puzzles, learning a new language, or participating in activities that stimulate both the mind and body can help keep a healthy state of mind. But do you know that one easy and tasty way to achieve mental alertness is just by eating a Mediterranean diet?
A lot of medical studies discovered the many positive benefits of following a Mediterranean diet. It is linked with treating and avoiding heart disease, cancer, and depression. Now, it has been proven to avoid brain problems associated with aging.
In the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto (April 10 to April 17, 2010), a recent study proved people who eat Mediterranean-like diet have less chances to develop brain infarcts – small areas of brain tissue associated with thinking problems. The results of their research involving 712 men and women averaging 80 years of age showed:
People who adhere closely to their Mediterranean diet are 36% less likely to have brain damage than those who were least following the diet.
People who moderately follow the diet are 21% less likely to have brain damage than the lowest group.
Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas – the author of this study said, “What we found was, those people who were following a healthier diet, more Mediterranean-like, had fewer brain infarcts, strokes, on the MRI,” and he concluded that “In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure.”
Scarmeas and his colleagues, in their previous research, also claimed that a Mediterranean diet could help lower the incidence of having Alzheimer’s disease. Also, it might prolong the lives of who have the disease. This might be because, as the study has shown, eating a Mediterranean diet causes fewer brain infracts.
Following a healthy and yummy diet is possible through Mediterranean diet. Not only it is good for the heart, it is also proven to be good for the brain. Older people should now eat more like a Greek and have a nice diet with a high ratio of monounsaturated fat to saturated fat to keep their minds buzzing stronger than ever.
It is recommended to start replacing your oil with olive oil – it is much better for use than butter, margarine and other salad dressing oils. Eat more vegetables and have fruits as desserts. Choose whole grains and cereals and avoid white bread and pasta. Omega-3 fatty acids are good, so have your fish and poultry. Red meat is rich in saturated fat so you must limit consumption. For calcium needs, have low fat yogurt or cheese. It is also beneficial to drink a glass of wine every now and then.
Aside from following a Mediterranean diet, those who are hoping to have stable brain power and mental health should have some form of regular physical activity that stimulates mind and body. Older people must realize that simple exercises like walking, running and socializing are important and can go a long way in maintaining a healthy state of mind.
Cognitive decline during old age can now be managed with the help of eating the right diet. The benefits of Mediterranean diet are now growing and there are many studies conducted to prove its worth. What’s more fun and interesting is that it is very easy to incorporate this diet in your daily routine. Mediterranean diet is fun, yummy, and more importantly, healthy!
Try a Mediterranean diet and take steps to a longer and better life today. If you are already convinced on the diet due to previous reading, you can sign up and download a free Mediterranean diet report here and access the monthly Mediterranean diet recipes club too.