A new study shows that people who eat a Mediterranean style diet have a far lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
In 2006 Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, led a team of researchers who found that elderly New Yorkers who ate a diet closely aligned with the Mediterranean diet have a 40% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers followed 2,258 cognitively healthy participants aged 65 or older. Those eating diets rich in leafy green vegetables, nuts, fish, cereals and fruits found themselves in this lowered risk group.
Scarmeas then took a subset of the participants, about 700, and continued to follow their eating habits. Those staying close to this Mediterranean way of eating were 36% less likely to have brain damage from brain infarcts, a type of stroke that occurs when the blood flow is either slowed or blocked by clotting.
A third finding of the study showed participants who exercised, as well as followed the diet, had a 61-67% lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet:
- Getting plenty of exercise and eating your meals with family and friends
- Eating a generous amount of fruits and vegetables
- Consuming healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Eating small portions of nuts
- Drinking red wine, in moderation, for some
- Consuming very little red meat
- Eating fish or shellfish at least twice a week
Key Components Source: The Mayo Clinic
Below you’ll find further resources on this diet.