Mediterranean Diet Prevents Your Brain from Shrinking

By Ana Verayo, | January 09, 2017

Researchers say a diet of grains, seafood, olive oil and wine can help prevent brain shrinkage. (Pixabay)

Researchers say a diet of grains, seafood, olive oil and wine can help prevent brain shrinkage. (Pixabay)

Scientists have confirmed that a Mediterranean diet of fruits, vegetables, and mainly olive oil and fish can apparently keep your brain from shrinking.

This diet also consists of more beans and grains such as cereal, rice, and wheat including ample amounts of fish, dairy, and wine but less emphasis on red meat and poultry.

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According to Michelle Luciano of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, as humans age, the brain shrinks and loses more brain cells in the process, affecting the learning process and memory. This new study proved that the Mediterranean diet has a significant impact on the overall health of our brains.

During the study, the team was able to collect data about the eating habits of 967 locals in Scotland around the age of 70, who did not possess dementia.


The results revealed that those who did not follow the Mediterranean diet closely are more prone to higher loss of brain matter in a span of three years compared to those who remained loyal to the diet.

More specifically, this diet provided evidence that there is a 0.5 percent difference in brain volume, which is about half the size caused by regular aging. The researchers also considered other significant factors like age, education, and having a history of diabetes including high blood pressure.

Contrary to past studies, fish and meat consumption has not been linked to significant brain changes. Luciano added that it is possible that other ingredients found in the Mediterranean diet is responsible for this or a combination of these is keeping the brain healthy.

When it comes to cortical thickness or gray matter volume found at the outer layer of the brain, there is no evidence linked with the Mediterranean diet. This new study was published in the journal Neurology. 

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