Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia
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It’s no secret that what you eat has a great impact on your body as well as your health. While ultra-processed fatty foods can be the very trigger for various conditions, healthy superfoods could actually help reduce your risk. Dr Mosley explains what diet is “best for your brain”.
You’ve probably heard about the potent Mediterranean diet linked to plentiful health benefits, ranging from a lower risk of heart disease to a longer lifespan.
Packed with vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest out there.
However, Dr Mosley explains that the “green” version of this diet might be especially potent.
The doctor penned for Daily Mail: “A recent study in Israel compared the impact of a low-fat diet, a Mediterranean diet (lots of veg, oily fish and olive oil) and a green Mediterranean diet.
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“[This] is like the Mediterranean diet, but the participants also had to drink three cups of green tea and a green shake made of Mankai duckweed (a plant from Southeast Asia) that’s packed with protein and other nutrients.
“At the end of the 18-month study, both Mediterranean diets had improved the participants’ brain volume, but it was the Greenies who came out on top.
“The researchers think this is because the green diet is especially rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can cross into the brain and encourage the production of new brain cells.”
And the doctor explained that the “key” ingredient to the “super shake” that can stave off dementia was duckweed.
Rich in the plant compounds called polyphenols, the green shake made out of this ingredient served as a daily substitute for dinner for the study participants.
Apart from Mankai duckweed and green tea, the subjects also had to consume minimal amounts of red and processed meat.
Plus, they also participated in physical activities, varying from going to the gym to aerobic exercises.
What’s more, Dr Mosley shared that it’s not just green foods that are packed with the plant goodies.
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He added: “You also find lots in berries, red onions and apples. A great excuse to eat more strawberries this summer.”
Furthermore, the promising effects on the brain weren’t the only benefits linked to the green Mediterranean diet.
The research team also spotted an improvement in insulin sensitivity, which details how your body’s cells respond to insulin.
High insulin sensitivity is a good thing as it allows your cells to use blood glucose more effectively, lowering the amount circulating in your bloodstream.
Professor Iris Shai, the lead author, added: “The beneficial association between the green Mediterranean diet and age-related neurodegeneration might be partially explained by the abundance of polyphenols in plant-based food sources which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory metabolites.
“Polyphenols can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), reduce neuroinflammation, and induce cell proliferation and adult-onset neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
Another researcher Dr Alon Kaplan explained that these findings might suggest a “simple, safe, and promising” way to slow down age-related neurodegeneration.
The main rules are drinking the duckweed-containing shake and green tea as well as eating walnuts while cutting back on red and processed meat.
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