The reasons the Mediterranean diet has been ranked as the best diet overall by World Report for seven years running are still evident.
Following a Mediterranean diet can help maintain mental acuity far into old age, even in cases when Alzheimer’s disease symptoms are present in the brain, according to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Researchers from Rush University in Chicago discovered that even while there were signs of dementia in the brain after death, people who adhered to the diet performed better on tests of cognitive functioning.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the customary eating habits of the 21 nations that encircle the Mediterranean Sea, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts, and olives. It entails consuming lean chicken, cereals, and plant-based foods in addition to moderate amounts of extra-virgin olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the value of emphasizing quality and packing your plate full of a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, seafood, olive oil, and whole grains, rather than concentrating on any one nutrient or food group.
Researchers examined 586 individuals who passed away at an average age of 91 using data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a study that included autopsy data from 1997 to 2022 with up to 24 years of follow-up.
Self-reported life characteristics, such as frequency of exercise, consumption of alcohol, smoking, Mediterranean diet, and cognitive activity score, were provided by participants to the experiment.
Based on these variables, a healthy living score was calculated and assigned a number between one and five; higher scores suggested a healthier lifestyle and improved cognitive performance nearer the end of life.
The test’s cognitive function score from less than a year before to the participant’s passing was compared to these results.
After the subjects’ deaths, the researchers took their brains from their bodies and examined them for evidence of tau tangles and amyloid beta, two of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Convention, dementia is a word used to describe the decreased capacity to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing daily tasks. It is not a specific medical condition. Among dementias, Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent type.
The study found that even if the participants’ brains displayed Alzheimer’s symptoms, their healthy lifestyles seemed to shield them from cognitive decline in some way.
The diet’s high degree of balance is supposed to help with cognitive decline by keeping you fuller for longer periods of time and reducing your tendency to overindulge in junk food and snacks.
A study published in October 2023 discovered that the gut microbiota of those following a Mediterranean diet may be able to lessen the symptoms of PTSD.
According to other recent research, women alone have demonstrated a nearly 25% decreased risk of heart disease and early mortality, and those who follow a diet may cut their risks of dying young by 29%.
The Mediterranean diet is one of four popular healthy eating patterns that can help lower the chance of dying young by up to 20%, according to a previous Harvard University study.