According to Dementia Australia studies have demonstrated benefits of the Mediterranean diet for good heart and brain heath. People who adhere to this diet have found to have a lower risk of developing dementia.
The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, some fruit and fish, olive oil and small amounts of meat.
Interest in the Mediterranean diet began in the 1960s with the observation that coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, other countries.
Investigations have shown that this kind of diet is associated with lower levels of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and death from any cause. They have also shown that sticking to the diet more strictly might be associated with slower rates of decline in memory and thinking.
Olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also contain monounsaturated fat.
Fish is also important in the Mediterranean diet. Fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.
Resource. Dementia Australia. What you eat and drink and your brain.