Thinking is a vital function of our brain. If the area related to it gets damaged, it could be extremely difficult to run our body effectively. Pertaining to the above topic, a study claims that a Mediterranean diet could aid people in evading minute regions of brain impairment that may result in issues with thinking and memory.

The study discovered that people who consumed a Mediterranean-like diet seemed to not have many chances to develop brain infarcts, or minute regions of dead tissue supposedly associated with thinking issues. The Mediterranean diet comprises of high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish and monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil. One has to consume less of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry. In this diet, one is given the permission to have mild to moderate amounts of alcohol.

The study included around 712 people living in New York. Their diets were supposedly evaluated by the experts. The participants were split into three groups based on how strongly they were abiding by the Mediterranean diet. Subsequently, they performed MRI brain scans of the people an average of six years afterward. A sum of 238 people apparently had at least one region of brain impairment.

Those who were most strictly sticking to the Mediterranean-like diet appeared to be 36 percent less prone to have areas of brain damage as compared to people who were not abiding by the diet properly at all. Those moderately conforming to the diet seemed to have 21 percent less chances to suffer from brain damage as opposed to the lowest group.

Study author Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, MSc, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, commented, “The relationship between this type of brain damage and the Mediterranean diet was comparable with that of high blood pressure. In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure.”

Preceding study by Scarmeas and his colleagues demonstrated that a Mediterranean-like diet could be linked to a lesser threat of developing Alzheimer’s disease and may elongate survival in people with Alzheimer’s disease. As per the current study, these relations may possibly be partly clarified by lesser brain infarcts.

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto around April 10 – 17, 2010.