Any Highlander fan (you know who you are!) will tell you that it’s probably not a good idea to live forever. But most of us do want to live be happy and healthy for as long as possible. New research out of NYC’s Columbia University indicates that eating a so-called “Mediterranean Diet” is potentially the key to anti-ageing. The research shows that this diet may slow brain shrinkage by as much as five years. The findings were recently published in Neurology.
The researchers analyzed 674 seniors (with an average age of 80) in Northern Manhattan who did not have dementia. They found that group who most closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet had on average a 13.11 mm larger brain volume than those that did not follow a Mediterranean-style diet. The difference represents 5 years of aging. Even though that sounds quite significant, researchers caution that the findings aren’t definitive proof of the diet slowing ageing – only that there is an association.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
In any case, I take this potential “anti-ageing” benefit as another reason to eat a sensible diet of homemade foods. And, thankfully this could also mean that eating lots of tasty Spanish conservas (which are packed with EVOO and include heart-healthy fish and vegetables) might be another ticket to healthy living!
- The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life
- Neurology Advisor: Mediterranean Diet Linked to Less Brain Atrophy
- NY Times: The Mediterranean Diet: Is It the Food or the Lifestyle?
- Mayo Clinic: Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan
Image credit: Richard Lee via Flickr