Under the Hood

New Study Shows Mediterranean Diet Can Help Slow Down Cognitive Decline

As per a new study, following the Mediterranean diet can help protect us from cognitive decline as we grow old and age.

Mediterranean Diet Help Protect Against Cognitive Decline

Recently, a team of researchers investigated a large sample of anglophone Canadians aged 45-85 in regard to their verbal fluency even as they age, leading to the study findings suggesting that individuals who tend to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and pulses (like beans and lentils) tend to exhibit better verbal fluency and score much higher in their tests.

As such, the study points to the Mediterranean diet as a strategy to help slow down the cognitive decline that we go through as we age.

“These findings are consistent with other research that has found a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes is protective against cognitive decline. Every increase in an average daily fruit and vegetable intake was linked to higher verbal fluency scores, but the best outcomes were found among those who consumed at least 6 servings a day,” Karen Davison, study co-author and director of the Nutrition Informatics Research Program in Kwantlen Polytechnic University, said. Additionally, Davison is also a North American Primary Care Research Fellow.

Because verbal fluency is an important measure when it comes to cognitive function, the researchers placed importance to it and asked the study participants to list as many words as possible from a given category in under a minute’s time. This test measures executive function and language and can be used to check if there is any impairment in a person’s cognitive function.

Per the study, it seems like the anglophone immigrants who have been Canadian residents for at least 20 years have higher verbal fluency score than Canadian-born people.

"Our earlier research on a big British cohort of individuals born in 1946 found that those who emigrated from United Kingdom had, on average, 5 points higher IQ than their peers who remained in the UK," Esme Fuller-Thomson, senior author, a professor at University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) and director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging, said.

Mediterranean Diet Health experts consider the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest diets ever created, which focus on natural food, mainly plants combined with healthy fats. Pixabay

Join the Discussion