By Sherkiya Wedgeworth

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Mediterranean diet more than just weight loss

It has been touted as one of the healthiest diets in the world; the traditional cuisine rich in fresh produce, healthy fats, whole grains and limited dairy, the Mediterranean diet is way more than just a plan to shed a few pounds.

Scientists, historians, public health experts and chefs have all concluded that the benefits of the diet, such as lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and reducing bad cholesterol levels are even more beneficial than weight-loss.

Now, researchers are saying that the 23-year-old “MedDiet” can help your brain function as well.

“The study shows that following the MedDiet slows cognitive decline, improves cognitive function and may even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” according to a news release from Australia’s Swinburne University.

For the study — “Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials” — researchers reviewed findings from 135 studies on the diet over a 15-year period, searching for several keywords related to cognitive ability to determine the long-term positive effects on cognitive function.

They found that the MedDiet slows cognitive decline, improves cognitive function and may even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

"The most surprising result was that the positive effects were found in countries around the whole world. So regardless of being located outside of what is considered the Mediterranean region, the positive cognitive effects of a higher adherence to a MedDiet were similar in all evaluated papers,” lead author Roy Hardman from Swinburne’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, said.

According to the findings, attention, memory, and language particularly improved with the diet.

Learn more about the research findings in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Posted by Sherkiya Wedgeworth on Dec 12, 2016 at 12:40 PM

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