Protects healthy eating from cognitive decline?
Doctors now study the effects of different diets and cognitive health diets to find out if a particular diet can be protected from the onset of dementia.
Columbia University scientists in their current research have found that proper nutrition seems to be guarded by the development of dementia. Experts published the results of the study in the journal Neurology in English.
What forms of diet protect cognitive degradation?
The study included more than 2,600 male and female subjects aged 25 to 45 years. The nutrition of the participants was assessed three times with repeated questionnaires, on the basis of which the average food intake for each individual was determined. For example, the effects of the Mediterranean diet and the so-called diet DASH were examined. When people followed these two ways of eating, subjects at the age of 55 improved cognitive health. One reason for this, according to researchers, these forms of diet seem to contain many unsaturated fats, legumes, proteins, fibers and micronutrients such as thiamin, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium.
What is included in our typical diet?
A typical western diet is often rich in trans fats, saturated fats, highly processed foods, and refined sugar and salt. By contrast, the diet in the Mediterranean style is rich in whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and olive oil, as well as poor in processed meat, red meat, trans fats, saturated fats and refined sugars.
Mediterranean nutrition improves endurance
It seems that Mediterranean nutrition improves health and protects against cardiovascular disease. In another small study from the University of St. Louis, subjects who ate a Mediterranean diet showed an improvement in their endurance performance compared to conventional western diets. The participants ran five kilometers on a treadmill, four days from the Mediterranean diet and four more days of a typical western diet. After four days of mediterranean diet, the pace of subjects accelerated by six percent, although the heart rate was comparable in both parts. The reason for this difference is that the Mediterranean diet is more alkaline, has anti-inflammatory properties, contains nitrates and is rich in antioxidants. However, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet quickly disappeared because the subjects shifted their diet back to the typical western diet. According to researchers, this highlights the importance of long-term compliance with the Mediterranean diet.
What is a MIND diet?
Another study examines Australian eating habits. It showed that a special diet is associated with reducing the risk of cognitive decline later in life. The so-called MIND was developed by Professor Martha Morris in the United States. This form of nutrition refers not only to the Mediterranean diet but also to the list of foods that are already known to promote brain health, such as antioxidant berries and green leafy vegetables. The study examines whether 1,220 adults in Australia aged 60 years and more developed cognitive impairment over a 12-year period. At the beginning of the study, scientists examined participants for their diet. The subjects in the study followed either the diet for the mind or the Mediterranean diet. The subjects taking the MIND diet reduced the risk of cognitive decline or dementia by almost a fifth. The other group of subjects who ate traditional Mediterranean food did not have such a benefit. (How)