As an awareness of the vital importance of good nutrition for good health has evolved over the years, there has been a growing interest in the Mediterranean diet. Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of heart disease. There is also interest in the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the mind. In a news release in Sept. 3, 2013, the University of Exeter reported, Research confirms Mediterranean diet is good for the mind.
Mayo Clinic writes the Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating along with a splash of tasty olive oil and sometimes even a glass of red wine, among other components which are characterized by the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
The first systematic review of related research has confirmed there is a positive impact on cognitive function, but an inconsistent effect on mild cognitive impairment, with the Mediterranean diet. There has been a lot of research over the years which has identified a link between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of age-related disease such as dementia.
A team of researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School has carried out the first systematic review of such research. These findings are published in the journal Epidemiology. A Mediterranean diet generally consists of higher levels of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and fish. A higher adherence to this diet means there is higher daily intakes of fruit and vegetables and fish, along with reduced intakes of meat and dairy products.
Lead researcher Iliana Lourida has said, "Mediterranean food is both delicious and nutritious, and our systematic review shows it may help to protect the ageing brain by reducing the risk of dementia." She has gone on to say while the link which exists between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and dementia risk is not new, this study is the first to systematically analyze all of the existing evidence.