Following a Mediterranean-style diet has become quite popular recently, and now there's yet another reason to eat Mediterranean.
Adding to the evidence that the Mediterranean-style diet is good for your health, a team of researchers at the Columbia University in New York claims that it helps delay brain shrinkage in aging humans. According to the researchers, people who follow a such a diet have more voluminous brain than those who do not.
The Mediterranean diet, typically followed in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece, is characterized by low amounts of protein and high amounts of vegetables and olive oil in the daily routine.
It is a known fact that the human brain shrinks with increasing age. However, the new study published in the journal Neurology claims that people who eat a diet rich in legumes, fish, vegetables and olive oil, with little dairy, meat and alcohol, experience less brain shrinkage than those who don't.
The researchers asked 674 people with an average age of 80 about their dietary lifestyle in the previous year. Seven months after the subjects completed the survey, the researchers conducted a brain scan of the subjects. The subjects were divided into two groups, depending on how closely their diet resembles the Mediterranean-style diet.
In terms of brain volume, the researchers reported a difference of five years of aging between the two groups of subjects. That is, “subjects who followed a Mediterranean-like diet had total brain volume that was 13.11 milliliters larger than those who did not follow the Mediterranean diet,” reported CBS News.
Research conducted in the past has claimed that following a Mediterranean-style diet helps older people perform" younger" in certain ways. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who follow a Mediterranean-style diet are better at performing cognitive tasks.