This Weight Loss Diet Prevents Shrinkage of 2nd Largest Sex Organ of the Elderly Body

Larger brains found in Mediterranean Dieters

It’s a fact of life: everything gets smaller as we grow older. But according to a recent study of elderly patients, this one weight loss diet could prevent shrinkage of the 2nd largest sex organ.

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According to a recent CBS News report, there’s another advantage to eating a Mediterranean diet aside from weight loss and the fact that it rates among the easiest diets to follow—preventing your brain from normally shrinking as much as it does within your age group.

This new health finding was recently published in the journal Neurology where scientists analyzed the brains of 674 participants with an average age of 80 who agreed to answer a questionnaire about their eating habits. After the questionnaire was completed, the participants were divided into two groups based on how closely their dietary habits followed the Mediterranean diet basics. The brains of the members of each group were then scanned for size assessment afterward using high-resolution structural MRI.

What the researchers found was that the study participants who ate a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, and olive oil, along with small to moderate amounts of alcohol, and who also consumed less meat and high-fat dairy, had less age-related brain shrinkage than participants who did not follow a Mediterranean eating lifestyle. The researchers reported that the Mediterranean diet appeared to give the larger-volume brained participants the equivalency of having a brain that is 5 years younger than their study peers.

According to CBS News, Dr. Gayatri Devi, an attending neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York, stated that, "The freshest thing here in this study shows that people on a Mediterranean diet, their brains actually shrunk less than people not on Mediterranean diet. And the shrinkage translated to an advantage of five years of brain aging. Persons who said that they were having a diet high in fruits, vegetables and fish and high in different kinds of polyunsaturated fats like olive, had plumper more healthy brains, less-shrunk brains than people who reported having a diet of food that was high in dairy and high in red meats and low in vegetables and fruits."

So just how much of a difference did having a Mediterranean diet lifestyle make? According to the study’s findings, 13.11millimeters (a little over ½ inch) greater in total brain volume.

The possible reason of why a Mediterranean diet is associated with less brain shrinkage as a person ages is proposed to be due to the type of meat people prefer. Those who eat more fish with omega-3 fatty acids appear to have a healthier brain than those who eat more saturated fat red meat. The authors of the study concluded that they believe that a higher fish and lower meat intake might be the 2 key food elements that contributed to the benefits of Mediterranean diet type brain structure.

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The lead study author Yian Gu, of Columbia University, in New York, stated that the more people adhere to a Mediterranean diet, the better their brain would be protected from the ravages of aging. His recommendation of meat choice and amount for a healthier brain was to either eat more fish or less red meat.

"Eating at least three to five ounces of fish weekly or eating no more than 3.5 ounces of meat daily may provide considerable protection against loss of brain cells," stated Gu.

For more about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, here’s an informative article about why Mediterranean Diet Recipes make the best flat belly food.

By the way, the skin is recognized as the largest sex organ of the human body, followed by the brain in second place for the distinction.

References:

CBS News “Could a Mediterranean diet help us hang on to brain cells?”

Mediterranean diet and brain structure in a multiethnic elderly cohort” Neurology Published online before print October 21, 2015; Yian Gu et al.

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