It’s tough to keep up with the latest celeb-backed diet fads.
But it looks like the MedDiet is here to stay.
Its health benefits are numerous and backed my multiple studies, including a telling new one out of Australia.
According to new research, the increasingly popular Mediterranean Diet can offer cognitive health benefits at any age.
For those in the dark, the diet is rich in leafy greens, fresh fruit and veggies, cereals, beans, seeds, nuts and legumes, and is low in dairy and red meat. Olive oil is its main source of healthy fat.
Published in Frontiers in Nutrition, the research shows that the diet can slow cognitive decline.
A review of studies by a team from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne revealed multiple physical health benefits of the diet, including a reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
The research also shows that the diet can benefit the brain.
To determine the diet’s impact on cognitive health benefits, the team analyzed 18 papers between 2000 and 2015.
They found that those who followed a MedDiet experienced slower rates of cognitive decline, improved cognitive function, and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The diet was also shown to improve attention, memory, and language.
Of particular improvement was the effect on memory. It’s important to note that, while cognitive deterioration is usually associated with aging, the cognitive benefits of the diet were found to be not unique to seniors. Two of the studies included also found improvements in younger adults.
According to lead author Roy Hardman, the MedDiet helps to change some of the modifiable risk factors involved in cognitive decline.
“These include reducing inflammatory responses, increasing micronutrients, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles by using olive oils as the main source of dietary fats, maintaining weight and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improving cellular energy metabolism and maybe changing the gut micro-biota, although this has not been examined to a larger extent yet,” said Hardman.
Positive benefits of the diet were found throughout the world, not limited to the Mediterranean region.
While giving up things like red meat and cheese entirely may be unfathomable to some, it may be a good idea to at least cut back on both in favour of fruits, veggies, and fish. The results speak for themselves: just take a look at people like the ever-ageless Brooke Burke, who swears by the MedDiet.
Not to mention, it’s affordable at a time when money is tight for millennials.