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Mediterranean Diet — Brain Food

The Mediterranean diet has long been linked with positive health benefits. And now, a new study suggests that this style of eating may even lower the risk of brain damage that leads to cognitive problems, such as thinking and memory problems.

After studying three groups, totaling 238 New Yorkers for six years and using MRI scans to monitor results, researchers found that the group whose diet closely resembled the Mediterranean style of eating was 36 percent less likely to have areas of brain damage than the group who was least following the diet.

The middle group, who moderately followed the Mediterranean diet, was 21 percent less likely to have damaged brain matter than the non-Mediterranean group.

“The relationship between this type of brain damage and the Mediterranean diet was comparable with that of high blood pressure,” said Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, MSc of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and author of the study. “In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure.”

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