London - Eating a Mediterranean diet has long been considered to be good for the body.
And now researchers say they have backed up claims that the same diet is good for the mind too.
They say that those who eat fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil have a lower risk of developing diseases such as dementia.
The study, by the University of Exeter’s Medical School, is the first systematic review of previous papers looking at the Mediterranean diet’s benefits to the brain.
The team analysed 12 pieces of research.
In nine of the studies, a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with better cognitive function, lower rates of cognitive decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, results for mild cognitive impairment – the stage before Alzheimer’s or dementia – were inconsistent.
Lead researcher Iliana Lourida said: “Mediterranean food is both delicious and nutritious – and our review shows that it may help to protect the ageing brain by reducing the risk of dementia.
“While the link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and dementia risk is not new, ours is the first study to analyse all existing evidence.”
A study last month showed the same diet could help counteract the genetic risk of strokes. - Daily Mail