Sharpness of your mind is definitely very important to you. And we all would like to stay sharp for as long as possible, although age-related dementia is in the cards for many. How can we avoid that? Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have found a way to maintain the sharpness of the mind with food. And the good news is that this food is delicious.
Dementia is an incurable condition, which is linked with many genetic and environmental factors. You can fend it off a little bit by exercising your body and your mind and, of course, eating healthy. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh studied more than 500 people aged 79 and without dementia. They assessed their thinking skills – problem solving, memory, word knowledge, thinking speed. More than 350 participants also underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan to gain insights into their brain structure. And then scientists took a look into their diet.
Researchers found that those participants who enjoyed a more Mediterranean-style diet had the highest cognitive function scores. This remained true even after scientists adjusted the results from other factors like childhood IQ, smoking, physical activity and health. Although the difference was small, it was statistically significant enough to be noted. Of course, the staples of the Mediterranean diet are considered to be the most helpful – our brains age slower if we eat green leafy vegetables and limit our meat intake. It is also important to say that MRI-scans did not reveal any structural differences between people who maintain a Mediterranean diet and those who do not.
Dr Janie Corley, one of the authors of the study, said: “In our sample, the positive relationship between a Mediterranean diet and thinking skills is not accounted for by having a healthier brain structure, as one might expect. Though it’s possible there may be other structural or functional brain correlates with this measure of diet, or associations in specific regions of the brain, rather than the whole brain, as measured here”.
Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest food choices. It slows down aging, helps maintain good mental health and cognitive agility. The good thing is that Mediterranean diet is also considered to be one of the most delicious diets available, which should make it easier to stick to this regime.
Human mind is a powerful thing. It is important to maintain its sharpness. Eating healthy and delicious food is a great way to stay sharper for longer so that you could enjoy the company of your grandchildren a bit nicer. However, there are other things to consider – you should also have an active social life as well as a healthy exercise regime.
Source: University of Edinburgh