Claire McEvoy worked for a decade in clinical nutrition for the National Health Service in Northern Ireland before getting her doctorate in public health nutrition in 2012. She then started researching how various types of dietary habits have an impact on people’s health and their healthspan. Dr. McEvoy has concentrated her studies on the Mediterranean diet and other healthy dietary habits. She and other experts supported by the American Federation for Aging Research have been conducting observations and discoveries that led us to longer healthspan.
Dr. McEvoy’s research provides answers regarding the association between nutrition and cognitive decline, also what implications her study has on Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and healthy aging as well.
Mediterranean diet can prevent cardiovascular conditions
The researcher has focused mainly on the traditional Mediterranean diet because of the common belief that what is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Claire McEvoy discovered that the diet is, in fact, effective and is reducing primary and even secondary cardiovascular disease. The Mediterranean diet has proved to have clinically powerful benefits for numerous cardiovascular disease risk threats, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, fasting glucose profiles and inflammatory biomarkers, which are also threats for cognitive decline.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is plant-based, is abundant in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and it is balanced in fish and nuts. The diet also contains alcohol, which is more consumed with the food. The diet is overall low in processed foods, sugary foods, and red meat.
Even though not as consistent, studies are likely to support the Mediterranean diet for brain health just like for cardiovascular health. However, the impact of the diet’s changes on cognitive function has been verified in a couple of intervention assays, and initial results have proved enhancement in cognitive function for those people who are at considerable risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses.
A recently conducted research has also shown people who keep healthy dietary routines, like the Mediterranean diet, during young adulthood are also prone to have a tremendous cognitive function even at midlife.
The Mediterranean diet fights dementia
The research has proved that the combination of foods and nutrients in a person’s diet can have a better biological impact than individual foods. Experts have begun to understand more about the process of how a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, impacts brain health. This diet also has beneficial effects on cognitive health because it enhances vascular health. The Mediterranean diet and other healthy diets also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements that could protect people from cognitive decline and dementia.
The Mediterranean diet is definitely a significant dietary habit for overall healthy aging, Dr. McEvoy says. However, the researchers don’t know the ideal combination of foods and nutrients for brain health yet. Among the most compelling elements of the diet is that it is likely to impact the development of numerous diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancer.
Addressing poor-quality diets and diseases related to diet in the world should be a primary policy focus for healthy aging. Even if it’s crucial to produce steady evidence of ‘what works,’ the main challenge continuing will be to discover productive ways to promote and support healthy dietary patterns in people to disease prevention and healthy aging.