New Study Reports Mediterranean Diet Can Slow Down Brain Ageing
The Mediterranean Diet – which focuses on fresh vegetables, wholegrains, oily fish and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil – can slow down the brain’s ageing, a new study says.
The research from the University of Negev in Israel says that eating a Mediterranean Diet appears to slow the signs of accelerated brain ageing typically seen in obesity with as little as 1 per cent loss in body weight.
As reported in Science Alert , the research reveals that switching to a diet full of veggies and low in processed foods can work like magic for your brain’s biological age.
Details within the study said that the Mediterranean Diet appeared to slow down the brain’s ageing by nearly nine months compared with its chronological age.
Study Linking Mediterranean Diet And Slowed Brain Ageing: The Details
Study researchers imaged the brains of 102 participants and took brain scans before any lifestyle changes were made.
The brain scans were taken after 18 months, along with a battery of tests of liver function, cholesterol levels, and body weight.
Groups ate one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet with lots of nuts, fish, and chicken instead of red meat; a Mediterranean diet with a few added extras such as green tea for the polyphenols; or a diet based on healthy dietary guidelines.
The researchers analysed blood biomarkers, fat deposition and body mass index in addition to testing liver function, cholesterol levels and body weight. They then monitored changes in the brain over the course of the study, New Post reported.
The researchers found that the people on the trail lost around 2.3 kilograms. For every 1 per cent of body weight lost, the participant’s brains appeared 9 months younger than their chronological age.
The study said that the signs of slowed brain ageing were also associated with lower levels of liver fat and improved lipid profile but again, these changes could be superficial or short-lived.
Lead author and neuroscientist Gidon Levakov of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel said, “Our study highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including lower consumption of processed food, sweets, and beverages, in maintaining brain health.”
Full details of the study have been published in eLife.
Why Polyphenols Boost Brain Health
Polyphenols are a type of micronutrient found in many fruits and vegetables and are found in large numbers in the best extra virgin olive oils. They have numerous health benefits, including the promotion of brain health. Polyphenols help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals, and they also help to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Additionally, polyphenols have been shown to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Because of their many potential benefits, polyphenols are an important part of a healthy diet. Including plenty of polyphenol-rich foods in your diet may help to keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Brain Health
Previous research, reported in The Times in 2022, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reported that Half a tablespoon (7g) of olive oil daily can have tangible effects on your overall brain health.
According to the study, the presence of Flavanols (a group of plant chemicals known to reduce the sort of inflammation in the body that underlies many age-related health problems) in foods such as olive oil can boost brain health.
The report states:
Holland’s study praised [olive oil’s] levels of a flavonol called isorhamnetin, which protects against brain degeneration, as well as others including the flavonoid luteolin — shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s — apigenin and flavones important for general cognitive function.
Half a tablespoon (7g) of olive oil daily resulted in a 29 per cent reduced risk of early death from neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, according to a study by Harvard nutritionists published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology last year.
The researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reported that both tea and red wine also provide enough beneficial flavonols to keep your memory sharp as you age. The new study suggests that the more flavonols you can get in food, the slower the onset of forgetfulness.
Leading the study of 961 people with an average age of 81, neuroepidemiologist Thomas Holland said many plant-based foods, including red wine, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of brain boosting Flavanols.
“Something as simple as eating more fruit and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health,”Thomas Holland