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Mediterranean diet and moderate exercise ward off dementia

by Ionut Popescu on 18 August 2016
Health, Lifestyle     |      Alzheimer's disease,  hazelnuts,  Mediterranean diet,  memory problems,  salt,  spices,  walnuts

What we eat does matter, especially when combined with moderate, but constant exercise! A new study soon to be published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry scientifically links diet and exercise to successful prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research was conducted on patients suffering from memory problems, who volunteered to perform a special brain scan that would show how advance their condition is. More precisely , the scientists believe that dementia is caused by certain formations in the brain that block communication between brain nerves, thus interrupting the normal flow of information, leading to cell death and irreversible damage of the  brain tissue.

The study revealed that these special type of formations, called cellular tangles, tend to develop faster if the patient does not lead a healthy life style. Many aspects were taken into consideration, such as the BMI (Body Mass Index), the daily diet and the stress levels of the participants.  The results suggest that Mediterranean type diet, combined with a moderate level of daily physical activity reduces the risk of these so called nerve clogs.

In the UK alone, some 850.000 people suffer from memory losses, and the number tend to grow as healthy food becomes increasingly expensive, and more time consuming to acquire.

While for some the term diet is restrictive in itself, a Mediterranean diet may be defined as a lifestyle in itself. Such a diet is basically rich in legumes, nuts, olives (and olive based products) and fish, while red meat is seldom used. The simplest way to adopt a Mediterranean style diet as a life style is to go through the following steps :

1) Your daily proteins should predominately come from fish and chicken meat with little fat. Remember – animal fat is not as healthy as fat from vegetarian sources.

2) If you feel like snaking, use walnuts, hazelnuts or seeds, but watch out for the size of the portions as these snacks are very caloric


Above picture – a mix of dried fruits constitutes a healthy snack rich in calories

3) Try to cut down on the salt and replace it with other spices. Salt in excess rises your heart pulse and hinders your organism from properly digesting the food

4) Three is the magic number – never skip a meal, or you will have the tendency to eat more at the next one. Besides, it will wear you out to have only one or two meals a day for a long time.

5) Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a good source of fibers, healthy sugars and regulate the metabolism. They can also be used as snacks inbetween meals.

Don’t rush into the diet, using strict rules that you won’t be able to abide by in the long term. The best approach is to find a diet that suits you and follow the above principle tailored to your eating habits. In time, you will lose weight, feel stronger both phisically and mentally and have a sense of optimism about your self.

Aside from eating healthy, it is also important to exercise. For those who don’t feel like walking out the door and have a jog in the morning or after work, there is always the option of exercising indoors.

Mediterranean diet and moderate exercise ward off dementia

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