Those who eat a steady mediterranean diet are more likely to live longer, according to a new study. The reason behind this lies with the fact that the foods in this diet are healthier in general than that of other parts of the world, and therefore the brain shrinkage associated with old age occurs at a slower rate.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the research was conducted with older people who follow the diet, and it was documented that they tend to live longer than those who do not. A total of 562 Scottish people were used in the study, with these individuals being at least 70 years of age or higher. Those consuming the mediterranean diet experienced around half the brain shrinkage than those of the same age, who ate different food.
The results of the study were completed by measuring the lifestyles and habits of people in the same age group, which were recorded once they reached the age of 70 and given to researchers via a “dietary frequency form”. At the ages of 73 and then 76, reports Science Daily, the brains of this control group were scanned in order to gauge the overall organ’s volume level, as well as some of its components.
The group was then split into two; those who at least somewhat adhered to the mediterranean diet, and those whose consumption was nowhere near the same level. The average loss of brain-volume differed significantly enough from the two groups that researchers were able to come to their conclusion.
The mediterranean diet consists of few red meats and poultry, but a copious amount of fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and legumes. In addition, red wine and fish are consumed moderately but regularly. Following it has many benefits to a person’s health, reports NBC News. These include, but are not limited to; lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as other premature death risks. Health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels and metabolism issues are also scaled back by one consuming this diet.
However, researchers are still looking into all the ways that eating these foods will lead to a long and healthy life when it comes to brain function. Essentially, they are trying to figure out whether it is truly preserved brain volume, versus vascular health, that leads to individuals aging more. In terms of the dietary advantages, further studies are attempting to prove whether it is the fish, vegetables, or lack of red meat that is proving to be the most healthy.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow