There is a growing body of research suggesting that a meal plan that focuses on healthy vegetables, protein and fat has major benefits for losing weight, keeping your mind sharp, and protecting your heart and brain as you age.
This type of eating system is called many names and comes in many different iterations, from "plant-based" to "Mediterranean". Some people on the diet eat eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, or all of the above; others are vegetarian and abstain from meat and animal products altogether.
However, most of these meal plans in essence are very similar and have two main advantages: they are rich in vegetables, proteins, healthy and low fats in heavily processed foods and refined carbohydrates such as white bread.
In the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology, scientists have identified six recent studies of a single version of the Mediterranean Diet Plan - indicating that the eating system is closely related to healthy aging, better mobility, reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease,.
This follows a recent preliminary study presented at the Stroke Conference of the American Stroke Association, which deepens the potential benefits of the two Mediterranean eating plans. The study looked at how the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet (a version of the Mediterranean plan focusing on "healthy" brain foods) affect the brain.
Mediterranean and MIND of mind
MIND diet for vegetables, seafood, olive oil and wine. He adds an extra focus on green leafy vegetables, berries, beans, whole grains, and poultry. Followed by each of it, a standard Mediterranean diet limit the intake of processed foods, pastries, desserts, anything fried, red meat, cheese, butter and margarine.
In people who survived a stroke, the MIND diet may help slow cognitive decline, according to the latest study. This finding is based on findings from research published last summer in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.
For this study, researchers looked at data from nearly 6,000 older people. Participants were asked about their diet and the types of foods they ate or did not eat. The researchers then measured memory and attention skills using tests such as word lists and back counting exercises. Those who planned to eat with the Mediterranean diet and the MIND-style diet were much better than those who ate other types of diets.
"These results support the hypothesis that diet modification may be an important public health strategy to protect against age-related neurodegeneration," wrote Claire McAvoy, author of the paper and epidemiology of nutrition at the University of California, San Francisco, on paper.
Researchers are still unsure why these types of eating plans appear to be beneficial to the brain, but they have some evidence.
Both diets are rich in antioxidants and two healthy fats: unsaturated monounsaturated acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Previous studies have found a link between these components and reduced risk of dementia, as well as higher cognitive performance.
It has also been shown that the green vegetables and berries that have been confirmed in the MIND diet help protect against gradual loss of structure or function of brain cells. This loss, known as neurodegeneration, is a major feature of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
But vegetarian diets are not only beneficial for the brain, but also have major benefits for the body.
Why plant-based diets are good for the body
To maintain your energy levels and help you feel good in the long run, your diet needs to feed more than your stomach.
It must fill your muscles, which crave protein. Digestive system, which works best with fiber. The tissues and bones work best when they get the vitamins from the food.
The combination of a plant-based diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats achieves this goal.
This balance is also the key to keeping you full after meal and active throughout the day so you do not feel the need to over-eat, Nicola Whitehead, a registered dietitian in the UK, previously told the insider business.
"You need to eat a balanced meal - things like whole grains, fiber and vegetables - to keep your blood sugar in. Empty calories [such as white bread or white rice] give a temporary solution."
Read also: 10 best foods for your healthy heart