Most diets include restrictions on the use of certain products. And if we talk about sugar or flour, then such restrictions will not affect your health and the development of mental abilities. It turns out that there are diets that not only help to normalize weight, but also maintain cognitive abilities at a high level, allowing you to remain healthy and active.
The Mediterranean diet
In 1990, an American nutritionist from the University of Minnesota, Ansel Case, published an article about nutrition residents of southern Italy, in which he described the dietary habits of residents of the Mediterranean region. So, the inhabitants of Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Spain and the south of France eat many foods with a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are so much in olive oil, and omega-3 acids, which are found in fish and nuts. In addition, a distinctive feature of this type of food is the use of a large number of fresh vegetables, fruits and be sure to - a glass red wine. They do not consume (or in very small amounts and rarely) red meat and dairy products.
Canadian scientists from the University of Toronto found that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, protects the human body from diabetes mellitus type 2 and cancer.
And their colleagues, scientists from Columbia University conducted a study that showed that such a diet slows down the process of cell death, which is typical for older people. To get the results, Colombian researchers scored a group of volunteers from 60 years of age who had been on this diet for half a year, and at the end of the experiment it was proved that the amount of gray matter in the brain could increase by 5 mm. Thus, the Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation and the oxidative process in the elderly, reduces the risk of developing dementia and impaired cognitive abilities of the brain.
A Mediterranean diet involves daily fish intake and 3-4 servings of each fruit and vegetables daily.
MIND combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. This nutritional system appeared relatively recently, but the results already prove that the MIND diet has a positive effect on a person’s cognitive abilities.
In 2015, an article was published in the medical journal A&D, which argued that the MIND nutritional system reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. There is also a more than 50% reduction in the risk of senile dementia in those who followed the diet strictly, and by 30% in those who partially followed it.
In addition to those products that are included in the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet list also includes foods that are most useful for the human brain: green leafy vegetables, cabbage, fruit, blueberries, chicken and turkey meat, whole grain bread.
Of the restrictions: butter no more than one tablespoon per day. Fried foods can be consumed once a week. In contrast to the rigor of the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet allows you to use fast food restaurants once a week.
This diet was developed by American scientists back in 1990 year for the treatment of hypertension using diet. Clinical trials have been going on for 7 years, and now DASH has been successfully used for patients with high blood pressure. The composition includes many fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, nuts and low-fat dairy products.
In 2013, Chicago University researchers from Rush conducted a study on 818 volunteers who did not suffer from dementia and found that those older people who were on the DASH diet and consumed a lot of vegetables, legumes, and nuts — significantly slowed the deterioration of cognitive abilities of the brain.
Claire Morris of Rush University, who worked on the study, says that the main products that slow down brain aging are vegetables, fish, nuts, and legumes, and avoiding saturated fat foods helps keep the brain healthy and active.