Can a Mediterranean diet be good for your mental health?

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Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet with Walnuts. (PRNewsFoto/California Walnut Commission)

Source: Choices Lifestyle

Plenty of people have heard of the Mediterranean diet and how it can help people to lose weight and keep the pounds off.  Recent research, however, has shown that a Mediterranean diet can also help to preserve brain health.

While there have been several studies lately that focus on the link between a healthy diet and a healthy brain, this is one of the few such studies that doesn’t show a direct link between eating fish and maintaining brain health.  In the study, test subjects in their 70s were put on a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, hummus, beans, pasta, and olive oil.  A control group stuck to foods that were mostly native to Scotland, where the research study was conducted.

Although it is common for brain mass to shrink as a person ages, this study showed that subjects who stuck to the Mediterranean style diet were more likely to lose less mass than subjects in the control group.  On average, the brains of people on the diet shrunk at half the rate as people who were not on the diet.

It should be noted that the study was not designed to show whether or not this diet could reduce the occurrence of dementia.

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