Following a plant based, mediterranean diet is linked to lower risk of heart disease. But does this diet also help preserve memory? A new study suggests eating a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts is associated with better memory.
In order to better understand the potential benefits of a mediterranean diet on memory, Emilio Ros, MD, Head of the Lipid Clinic at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain randomly assigned 447 patients to three different types of diets. All patients were at high risk of developing heart disease and had an average age of 67 years. Two groups were asked to follow the mediterranean diet and either add five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, or a handful of mixed nuts daily. The control group was simply asked to reduce the amount of fat in their diet. The group with nuts performed better in memory, and the group with olive oil performed better on tests that require speed of thought. However, the control group, without all these extra foods, all worsened with time.