Mediterranean diet with olive oil, nuts linked to healthier brain

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Image Credit: REUTERS/ALBERT GEA

(Reuters Health) – A Mediterranean diet with extra nuts and olive oil might help improve memory in older adults, a Spanish study suggests, though the results aren’t definitive and more research is needed.

“This small study found that a Mediterranean diet, which is low in animal foods like meat and butter, and high in vegetables, legumes and whole grains, when supplemented with olive oil or nuts is associated with improved cognitive function,” Samantha Heller, a nutritionist at New York University’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care and Sports Performance who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

While previous research has linked a Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers, as well as lower odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease, scientists haven’t conclusively proven that the diet itself is responsible, rather than other lifestyle choices made by people who eat this way.

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