Your brain is shrinking as you get older. By about 1 to 2 percent every year, according to Clare Walton, a research manager at the Alzheimer’s Society. But there’s a solution: Wine (and a Mediterranean diet).
A new study found that people 70 years and older who ate a Mediterranean diet kept half a percent more brain volume than those who didn’t. The study, which was published in the journal Neurology, reinforces everything you need to know about how you should be eating and drinking.
The study was done by researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. They asked 967 people who were 70 years old to eat a diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, and grain, as well as moderate amounts of fish, dairy, and most importantly wine. Then, three years later, 562 of those people had an MRI scan to measure brain volume, and 401 people had a second brain scan at age 76. The brain scans were compared to the participants adherence to a Mediterranean diet.
The results: People who followed the diet had a 0.5 percent higher brain volume than those who didn’t.
“As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory,” Michelle Luciano, one of the researchers from University of Edinburgh, says in a statement. “This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health.”
Now, the study wasn’t perfect, and self reporting about what you ate has it’s own issues. These are Scottish natives and some good Scotch probably snuck in as well, which is definitely NOT a part of a Mediterranean diet. Still, the study is the first step in understanding how food and drink can impact our brain. Hell, we already know that smelling lots of wine helps make your brain bigger.
In the meantime, there’s no harm in eating and drinking wine to no end like you’re living on the Italian coast. Cheers!