The Mediterranean diet refers to a set of eating habits developed by the coastal towns near this sea located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean.
The three peninsulas that protect the south of Europe: the Balkans, the Iberian, and Anatolia, lead through the Strait of Gibraltar to a series of gastronomic traditions that, in addition to being delicious, could help to fight degeneration of cognitive functions.
Why Mediterranean diet slows brain aging:
Over the years, the ability to carry oxygen through the bloodstream, the capacity for cell regeneration and organs elasticity decrease. These processes, which are externally reflected in wrinkles and lines of expression, are also evident internally: for example, the brain diminishes in size because the number of cells that compose it is getting smaller.
This process, common to all human beings, can affect learning processes, the ability to remember and store new memories. However, studies have shown that in the Mediterranean area, this process seems to not occur, on the contrary, those who carry this eating style have a more significant brain volume.
This diet is high in fatty acids, but low in cholesterol. The oxygenating capacity of the food makes the Mediterranean eating one of the best-kept secrets of the ancient continent.
Characterized by a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, grains and cereals such as wheat, cheeses and Arabic music, WINE, with a higher intake of bluefish over red meats and chicken. On the other hand, the consumption of processed foods is not usual, and it is low in carbohydrates and meat derivatives.
In a recent study, people who ate a high-fat diet had a significant decrease in memory and cognitive function over the course of four years.
People who follow a Mediterranean diet with nuts as a supplement had significant improvements in memory and the benefits of regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil on brain health have been long studied with surprising results not only on cognitive ability but in the low incidence of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
This combination helps fight diabetes because it also reverses metabolic syndrome, improve body composition and normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
TIPS to combat dementia with the Mediterranean Diet
Consider the following tips to prevent dementia by observing a Mediterranean diet:
1. It uses extra virgin olive oil; its antioxidant qualities surpass the other versions of olive oil that have gone through a more extended period of extraction.
2. Also, using it raw is much better than using it for cooking or frying. The extra-virgin olive oil, in addition to having a delicious aroma and palate, fights free radicals when is serve at room temperature. At high temperatures, like those in which you can fry a donut, let’s say, their properties diminish permanently.
3. How to incorporate olive oil into your diet? Use it for vinaigrettes as a salad dressing or replaced the use of butter and margarine. You’ll see positive changes in your memory, and in your skin beauty, in just weeks.
4. Avoid the consumption of processed and fried foods is an excellent strategy to prevent cardiovascular disease, weightgain and improve brain health. Foods that contain significant amounts of cholesterol reduce the bloodstream capacity of oxygenating the brain and therefore contribute to triggering degenerative diseases of cognitive functions.
5. Increase your consumption of nuts. This is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Macadamia nuts are a great source of beneficial oils for brain function.
6. Olives, in all their shapes and colors, have great oxygenating properties. Incorporate them into your diet by serving them as tapenade, in salads and as an extra topping of your favorite pizza at 2cheat day”.
7. Increase consumption of blue fish rich in Omega3. There are different types of fats of animal origin. The fat content in red meat and its derivatives clog the bloodstream in the long run, but some fats like Omega3 are highly recommended to prevent heart diseases: Wild Alaskan Salmon, sardines, trout, anchovies are, next to Omega3 supplements, an excellent source of this healthy fat.
8. Choose to replace the processed flour products for whole wheat. Although the body continues to treat them as carbs, products with less processed grains such as wheat bran, bran, oats, etc. are slowly digested and in moderate quantities remain necessary to maintain the body and mind fueled.
Improve your brain health with the Mediterranean diet: The importance of lifestyle
Only through following a healthy food model like the Mediterranean’s, won’t work miracles. If you have a family history of dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and any other degenerative brain disease, it is essential to review your life decisions and lifestyle.
Studies have shown that people with large social circles, full of happy relationships have less risk of suffering from this type of disease. Having a nourished circle of friends, constant family interactions and willingness to experience new activities are factors that keep the brain stimulated, with the neurons actively creating new connections.