Mediterranean-style diet linked to increased memory and thinking abilities later in life

In a new study released in the journal of Experimental Gerontology, researchers at the University of Edinburgh concluded that Mediterranean-style diet was linked to better memory and thinking abilities later in life.

Over 500 participants in late-adulthood with no history or diagnosis of dementia were evaluated by the research team.

As part of their evaluations, cognitive tests were initiated, assessing problem solving, memory, and word knowledge skills, in addition to eating patterns over the past year.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests were also conducted among 350, or so, participants.

From the published article: “Dietary patterns were derived from a 130-item food frequency questionnaire for 511 individuals in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936.”

“Composite scores for global cognitive function, visuospatial ability, processing speed, memory, and verbal ability were assessed. Brain volumes and white matter microstructure were assessed in participants who also underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging,” the findings also stated.

Researchers established that adherence to a Mediterranean diet resulted in improved cognitive functioning, including better verbal ability.

In particular, consuming foods such as green leafy vegetables and lower intake of red meat, led to better cognitive functioning, the study concluded.

“These observational findings suggest that adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with better cognitive functioning, but not better brain structural integrity, in older adults,” researchers asserted.

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