The foods from the sunny Mediterranean have been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart, and life, along with a waney risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.
You can now add lowering your risk for dementia into the ever-rising list of reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet or one of its nutritional cousins.
New research being presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International conference in London this week discovered healthy elderly adults who followed the Mediterranean or a similar MIND diet reduced their risk of dementia by a third.
McEvoy stressed that since the study was conducted in a nationally representative elderly people “the findings are related to the general public.”
“While 35 percent is greater than anticipated reduction for a lifestyle choice, I’m not surprised,” added Rudolph Tanzi, who directs the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at General Massachusetts Hospital and lately co-authored a publication with Deepak Chopra on aging and genes known as “Super Genes.”
“The activity of our genes is highly determined by four major factors: diet, exercise, sleep and stress management,” said Tanzi, who wasn’t involved in the study. “Of these, maybe diet is the most important.”
McEvoy’s study researched at the eating habits of almost 6,000 elderly Americans with an average age of 68.
After adjusting for age, sex, race, low educational attainment, and lifestyle and health problems — such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, smoking, and physical inactivity — investigators found that those who followed the Mediterranean or MIND diet had a 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment.
The more people remained on those diets, said McEvoy, the greater they served cognitively.
Those who slightly followed the diet also profited, but by a much smaller margin.
They were 18% less likely to exhibit signs of impairment.
Which are the Mediterranean and MIND diets?
Bid farewell to flour or sugar and besides olive oil, such as butter, are consumed if at all.
Meat may make a rare appearance, but only to flavor a dish. Meals may contain poultry, dairy, and eggs, but in much smaller portions than in the Western diet. Fish are a staple.
The MIND diet carries the very best mind foods of the Mediterranean diet and the famed salt-reducing DASH diet and puts them together. MIND encourages a focus on eating while rejecting meals from five classes that are unhealthy.
They eat at least 6 servings a week of green foliate vegetables such as spinach or kale, and at least one portion a day of another vegetable.
They also include at least three servings of beans, at least two portions of berries, two servings of chicken or turkey, and after serving of fish every week. Oil is their main cooking ingredient, and they drink a glass of wine a day.
Morris has some strong stats supporting her diet.
In 2015, she studied 923 Chicago-area seniors and found those who say that they followed the diet had a 53% lower prospect of getting Alzheimer’s, while those who followed it reasonably reduced their risk by about 35 percent. Studies showed benefits.
Morris and her colleagues are now recruiting volunteers for a three-year clinical study to attempt and prove the link.