How to eat your way to a better brain

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If you want to stay sharp, try eating some vegetables, beans and olive oil.

A new study suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet will improve all facets of cognitive function, including memory, executive function and visual constructions.

To conduct the meta-analysis, Roy Hardman from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and his team analyzed 18 studies on the Mediterranean diet conducted between 2000 and 2015.

A Mediterranean diet overwhelmingly consists of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes and fish. Dairy, red meat, and sugars are eaten sparingly.

In addition to improving memory in particular, the Mediterranean diet is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and fewer incidents of Alzheimer's disease, according to the research.

The Mediterranean diet has also previously been associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic disorders.

To be sure, genetics play a major role. The acuity of our intellect in later years has been directly tied to age, gender and genetics.

That said, the researchers found that people all around the world benefited from the diet, not just those living in the Mediterranean region.

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