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We’ve heard that the Mediterranean diet is good for the heart and longevity, but new research gives us another reason to try it – it can also protect against memory loss and dementia. A new study from Germany suggests that eating in this way – with lots of fish, legumes, vegetables and olive oil – can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers analyzed brain scans of more than 500 older adults and found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet were less likely to experience brain shrinkage and high levels of abnormal proteins found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Lead author of the study Tommaso Ballarini explains that eating a Mediterranean diet could help slow Alzheimer’s disease pathology and prevent cognitive decline.
What does the study fail to explain? Just how such a diet affects brain health and whether the diet is helping the brain or just a marker of an overall healthy lifestyle. But even if this diet doesn’t preserve brain function, it has proven to be good for you in other ways. Ballarini sums it up: “This study complements the evidence on the protective effects of a healthy lifestyle on brain health and gives hope for the prevention of dementia.”