Elements included in the diet were a high consumption of fruit, pulses, cereals, nuts, fish, olive oil and a low to moderate consumption of dairy products and other meats.
(CNN) - As we age, our brains naturally shrink and our risk of having a stroke, dementia or Alzheimer's rise, and nearly everyone experiences some kind of memory loss. At an average age of 73, 562 of these participants went through an MRI scan to observe their brain volume and morphology.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh scanned the brains of 401 people in their 70s and took their dietary information. "We can't establish a causal relationship between the diet and brain change", she said.
However, more research is needed to determine an association between a Mediterranean diet and a specific effect on risk for degenerative brain diseases, such as dementia.
Luciano said, at the older age brain starts shrinking and lost its cells that could be affect learning the power of the person and it also affects the memory.
The researchers used the food-frequency surveys to divide the group into two - those who at least approximated a Mediterranean-style diet and those who came nowhere close.
To glean how diet might influence brain aging, researchers tapped into a large group of Scottish people who were all born in 1936 and had many measures of health status and lifestyle tracked from an early age. Researchers also found that fish and meat consumption were not related to brain changes, which contradicts previous research.
Bottom line: you'll likely be physically and mentally healthier long into old age if you stick with this diet.
Scientists know that people who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and keep mentally stimulated generally have healthier brains than people who aren't as careful about diet and exercise.
The study followed the Scots from age 70 to about age 76, asking them to fill out a food diary while the researches tracked their brains through MRIs.
The study also finds that subjects across the spectrum of intellect and educational attainment reaped the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in reducing brain shrinkage (or, alternatively, suffered the effects of diets that departed sharply from that diet's emphasis on plants, fish and polyunsaturated fats).
Dr Luciano said: 'In our study, eating habits were measured before brain volume was, which suggests that the diet may be able to provide long-term protection to the brain.