Mediterranean-style Diet May Protect Aging Brains from Damage

According to Health Day, a study by Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas at Columbia University Medical Center shows that eating a Mediterranean-style diet — one rich in olive oil, whole grains, fish and fruit — may protect aging brains from damage linked to cognitive problems. The study involved 712 men and women averaging 80 years of age.

Researchers looked at how well the participants followed a Mediterranean-style diet for six years. Upon MRI those who strictly followed the diet had fewer brain infarcts, strokes and their risk for having such damage was lowered by up to 36 percent.

In earlier studies, Scarmeas has shown that a Mediterranean diet could help lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and might lengthen the life of those who have the disease. “Boosting plant food intake can improve heart health and reduce body weight, but now it appears it may [also] aid brain health,” she said.