Green Mediterranean Diet : How Eating Healthy Can Make Your Brain Younger

A growing body of research emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet for overall health. The Mediterranean Greens Diet is one of the diets that has grown in popularity in recent years. This adapted version of the classic Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve brain function and aid in weight loss. In this in-depth article, we examine the Mediterranean green diet, its components, and its possible brain health benefits.

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Understanding the green Mediterranean Diet

Traditional Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a popular eating plan based on the traditional diets of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. It is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and olive oil, and moderate consumption of fish, chicken and dairy products. Eat red meat and processed foods in moderation.

Green Mediterranean Diet: A Modified Version

It is a modified version of the classic Mediterranean diet that encourages plant-based foods while limiting red and processed meat. This diet is characterized by a higher intake of dietary polyphenols, which are secondary metabolites of plant substances that provide several health benefits.

In addition to 28 grams of walnuts per day, the Green Mediterranean Diet included 3 to 4 cups of green tea and a green duckweed smoothie from the Wolffia globosa (Mankai) plant per day for 18 months. Mankai, a green aquatic plant rich in bioavailable iron, B12, 200 polyphenols and protein, is a potential meat substitute.

The DIRECT-PLUS Trial: A Study on the Green Mediterranean Diet and Brain Health

 

The DIRECT PLUS trial is a large-scale, long-term clinical study examining how a Mediterranean green diet affects brain health. The study, which took 18 months and involved 300 participants, was led by a team of researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Leipzig in Germany.

The Sub-Study on Brain Aging and Weight Loss

Prof. Galia Avidan from the Department of Psychology and Dr. Gidon Levakov, former graduate student in the Department of Cognitive and Brain Sciences, conducted a sub-study of the DIRECT-PLUS experiment to examine the effects of a Mediterranean-green diet on brain aging and weight loss.

The researchers looked at 102 people who met criteria for obesity. At the beginning and end of the program, participants underwent brain scans and other tests and measures to assess other biological processes affected by obesity, such as liver function.

Findings of the Sub-Study

According to the substudy, a 1 percent weight loss caused participants’ brain ages to be nearly 9 months younger than their predicted brain ages at 18 months. This slower aging was associated with changes in other biomarkers, such as lower levels of liver fat and enzymes. Elevated liver fat levels and production of certain liver enzymes have previously been shown to adversely affect brain health in Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our research highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including reducing intake of processed foods, sweets and beverages, to maintain brain health,” said Dr. Levakov. “We were pleased to find that a 1% weight loss was enough to impair brain health and lead to a 9-month reduction in brain age,” explains Prof. Avidan.

Potential Benefits of the Green Mediterranean Diet

Improved Brain Health

Results of the DIRECT-PLUS trial show that  diet can improve brain health. This diet may help maintain cognitive function and minimize the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s by accelerating weight loss and reducing obesity-induced brain aging.

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Weight Loss and Management

The Mediterranean Green Diet, which focuses on plant-based meals and limits red and processed meat, can help with weight loss and management. According to substudy results of the DIRECT-PLUS study, even a 1% reduction in body weight can have significant effects on brain health.

Improved Liver Health

A Mediterranean green diet was also linked to improved liver health, according to a substudy of the DIRECT-PLUS trial. Reducing liver fat and enzyme production can improve overall brain function and reduce the incidence of liver disease.

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Components of the Green mediterranean Diet

Plant-Based Foods

The Green Mediterranean Diet promotes eating more plant-based foods such fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are very rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants… this is can help you with brain health and overall well-being.

Green Tea

Green tea is a mainstay of the Green Mediterranean Diet, with 3-4 cups eaten daily. This delicious drink is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that has been linked to a variety of health advantages, including enhanced brain function and a lower risk of neurodegenerative disorders.

Walnuts

Walnuts are an integral component of the Green Mediterranean Diet, with 28 grams ingested daily. it is known for containing omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary for brain health and cognitive function.

Mankai Duckweed

Also known as Wolffia-globosa, is an aquatic green plant that is included in the Green Mediterranean Diet.  it is a healthy alternative to meat since it contains bioavailable iron, B12, polyphenols, and protein.

How to Adopt the Green Mediterranean Diet

Incorporate More Plant-Based Foods

Begin by introducing more plant-based foods into your daily meals if you want to follow the Green Mediterranean Diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all examples.

Limit Red and Processed Meats

Reduce your intake of red and processed meats including beef, pork, and processed deli meats. Instead, choose lean protein sources such as fish and chicken, as well as plant-based options such as Mankai duckweed.

Consume Green Tea and Walnuts

Incorporate green tea and walnuts into your daily routine. It is aim for 3 to 4 cups of green tea and 28 grams of walnuts per day.

Embrace Healthy Fats

Healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, should be preferred over unhealthy fats, such as trans and saturated fats found in processed foods and fried foods.

Challenges and Considerations

Accessibility and Cost

Due to accessibility and expense, the Green Mediterranean Diet may be difficult for some. Some ingredients, such as Mankai duckweed, may not be widely available in all locations. Furthermore, because the diet emphasizes fresh, natural foods, it can be more expensive than processed, packaged options.

Dietary Preferences and Restrictions

Individuals with dietary preferences or constraints, such as vegetarianism or allergies, may need to modify the Green Mediterranean Diet. It is preferred and critical to consult with a healthcare practitioner or registered dietitian before you make large dietary changes updates.

Future Research and Implications

The DIRECT-PLUS trial’s findings, as well as its sub-study on brain aging and weight loss, have important implications for future research and public health. More research is needed to discover whether decreasing obesity-induced brain aging improves clinical outcomes for patients.

In addition, the Mediterranean green diet can be used as a tool to assess the impact of lifestyle changes on brain health. As obesity rates rise globally, developing therapies to improve brain health could have important clinical, educational and societal implications.

Conclusion

The Green Mediterranean Diet is a potential strategy for improving brain health, weight loss, and overall well-being. This modified version of the traditional Mediterranean Diet, which emphasizes plant-based meals, green tea, walnuts, and Mankai duckweed, may offer a road to enhanced brain health and a lower risk of neurodegenerative illnesses. As more information on the Green Mediterranean Diet’s benefits becomes available, more people trying to improve their brain health and overall wellness may find this nutritional strategy to be a beneficial tool in their journey toward a better living.

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