Eating a “Mediterranean-like diet” can lower the risk of developing dementia by up to 23%, according to new research.
The groundbreaking study, published on Tuesday in the BMC Medicine journal, shows individuals who kept a diet rich in foods like seafood, fruit and nuts, had a much reduced risk of developing the debilitating condition.
The Newcastle University team analysed data from 60,298 individuals from the UK who had contributed a dietary assessment, providing information about what they ate.
The scientists scored individuals based on how closely their diet matched the key features of a Mediterranean one and followed those involved for almost a decade.
The team took into account each individual’s genetic risk for dementia too.
Dr Oliver Shannon said: “Finding ways to reduce our risk of developing dementia is a major priority for researchers and clinicians.
“Our study suggests that eating a more Mediterranean-like diet could be one strategy to help individuals lower their risk of dementia.”
John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition, Newcastle University, added: “The good news from this study is that, even for those with higher genetic risk, having a better diet reduced the likelihood of developing dementia.
“Although more research is needed in this area, this strengthens the public health message that we can all help to reduce our risk of dementia by eating a more Mediterranean-like diet.”