Past Articles

Mediterranean Diets With Olive Oil and/or Nuts Improve Brain Health

Looking to enhance your brain function and improve memory? New research out of Barcelona, Spain indicates a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and/or mixed nuts can do just that. Researchers randomly assigned 447 healthy aging individuals (average age 67) who were considered at high risk for a cardiovascular complication to 3 different dietary groups - A Mediterranean diet group supplemented with extra virgin olive oil (1 liter per week), a Mediterranean diet group supplemented with mixed nuts (30 grams per day), or a control diet group where participants were advised to reduce dietary fat. All participants received cognitive function tests at the beginning of the study, and those remaining in the study (approximately 75%) after approximately 4 years received the testing again. In general, participants consuming the low-fat control diet experienced a significant decrease in memory and cognitive function. Conversely, participants consuming the Mediterranean diet with nuts experienced significant improvements in memory, while those adding extra virgin olive oil experienced significantly better cognitive function. Both nuts and olive oil contain oleic acid which is one of the most common fats making up the brain which is 70% fat and is dependent upon getting its nourishment from the foods we eat. The antioxidant-rich foods in Mediterranean diets as well as nuts and olive oil provide nourishment to the brain and appear to help protect against overall brain health and cognitive decline.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online May 11, 2015.