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Mediterranean Diet Could Keep Aging Brains Sharp

By | Colin Tweedy |

Helping your brain stay sharp with age may be as simple as changing up the food on your plate at dinnertime, a new study suggests.

The study focused on the healthy “Mediterranean” diet, a regimen reliant on olive oil, beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with chicken and fish largely replacing red meat. Dairy products and eggs are only used in “low to moderate amounts,” according to the American Heart Association.

Nutritionists have long touted the benefits of the diet on various facets of health, including cardiovascular health. But a team of researchers in Scotland, led by Janie Corley, wanted to see whether Mediterranean fare might help the brain work better with age, too.

To do so, her team tested the mental (“cognitive”) ability of over 500 people averaging 79 years of age, none of whom showed any signs of dementia. The tests focused on problem solving, thinking speed, memory and word knowledge, and the researchers also obtained MRI brain scans of over 350 of the participants.

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