Mediterranean-DASH Diet linked Could Improve Attention In Young Students

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New Study Backs Mind Diet For Better Focus Among Young Learners

Following the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet may help improve the attention of young students, a new study claims.

Mind Diet To Improve Attention In Youngsters
Mind Diet To Improve Attention In Youngsters

The MIND Diet which was originally designed to help adults ward off cognitive decline may also help to improve the attention in young students

Findings from the research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition: NUTRITION 2023, The MIND Diet – originally designed to reduce cognitive decline in adults – may help inform dietary interventions with the goal of improving cognition among children.

As summarised in, the study examined two diets: the (HEI-2015) Healthy Eating Index which is based on the Dietary Guideline for Americans, and the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet which combines the Mediterranean Diet with the heart healthy (DASH) Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet to create a dietary pattern that is focussed on brain health. 

Shelby Keye, Ph.D., who performed the work as a doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said:

“We assessed how adherence to these diets was associated with children’s attentional inhibition — the ability to resist distracting stimuli — and found that only the MIND diet was positively linked with children’s performance on a task assessing attentional inhibition,”

“This suggests that the MIND diet could have the potential to improve children’s cognitive development, which is important for success in school.”

Shelby Keye, Ph.D

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Other Key Foods For MIND Diet

Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil
Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil

The MIND diet emphasizes consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes like peas, beans, and lentils. It also has recommendations for specific foods like certain berries and leafy greens which are known to help promote optimal brain health as well as using extra virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil.

WorldHealth explains the significance of this latest research:

While the MIND diet has been shown to have positive effects among adults, very few studies have involved children. 

Data was utilized from a previous cross-sectional study which was led by Naiman Khan, Ph.D., a professor of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 85 participants without neurological disorders between the ages of 7-11 years old completed a diet record for 7 days which was used to calculate HEI2015 and MIND Diet scores, and they also completed tasks that required spatial attention as well as executive control to assess attentional inhibition while recording their accuracy and reaction times. 

According to the researchers, the MIND Diet scores but not the HEI-2015 scores were positively related to participant accuracy on tasks, meaning that those who adhered better to the MIND Diet were found to have performed better on the tasks. However, they noted that the study only shows an association, an intervention study is required to make causal inferences. 

The team would like to investigate the relationships between the MIND Diet and attention in younger children to determine if there are any differences based on age and whether a development effect might be involved.

Can The MIND Diet Reduce Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The MIND diet is a powerful eating plan designed to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Combining elements of two popular diets, the Mediterranean Diet, including extra virgin olive oil and the healthy eating practices of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, this program encourages proper nutrition as a way to affect biological mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer’s.

Created by experts in public health, neuroscience research and medicine, such as Rush University, Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital thanks to backing from NIH’s National Institute on Aging, it embraces whole foods and plant-based recipes as part of an overall journey to better health and wellness.  This well-supported diet may help reduce the chance for neurological ailments by following a balanced food plan which includes extra virgin olive oil.

This collaboration was formed to reduce risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease by influencing biological mechanisms responsible for Alzheimer’s, such as oxidative stress and inflammation. The MIND diet can be integrated into everyday lifestyle for long term wellness and has been proven to substantially reduce an individual’s chance of being diagnosed with this progressive neurological disorder.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of Top Ten foods in the Mediterranean MIND Diet.

The MIND Diet is a smart choice for anyone who wants to eat for optimal brain health. And one of the best ingredients to include when following this diet is extra virgin olive oil. With its rich flavor and numerous health benefits, this cooking oil is a must-have in any MIND Diet kitchen. Whether you’re sautéing vegetables, drizzling it over a salad, or using it to make homemade salad dressing, extra virgin olive oil is a flavorful addition that can help reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, extra virgin olive oil has been linked to improved brain function and a lower risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Try using this delicious cooking oil in your MIND Diet recipes and see how it can boost not only your brain health but your tastebuds too.

And don’t be afraid to experiment! Extra virgin olive oil can be used in everything from salad dressings to sautéing vegetables.