Following a Mediterranean diet may delay dementia, new research suggests.
People who eat lots of vegetables, fish and olive oil have 15 percent less of the protein beta-amyloid, which can stick together to form plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's disease, a US study found.
Just three years of following a Mediterranean diet also preserves brain activity, which could postpone Alzheimer's onset by three-and-a-half years, according to the researchers.
Professor Ralph Martins, from Edith Cowen University, Joondalup, Australia, who was not involved in the study, believes lifestyle has a huge role to play in Alzheimer's onset, with medication often being unsuccessful if taken when the brain is already damaged.
Previous research suggests the anti-inflammatory properties of staple Mediterranean foods, such as oily fish and vegetables, may prevent dementia by stopping blood-vessel damage in the brain.
Alzheimer's disease affects around 5.5 million people in the US and 850,000 in the UK.
Following a Mediterranean diet may delay dementia, new research suggests (stock)
Aerobic exercise such as walking and running may halt dementia by preventing the brain from shrinking, research suggested in November 2017.
Being active several times a week maintains the size of the region of the brain associated with memory, a study found.
Known as the hippocampus, this region is often one of the first to deteriorate in Alzheimer's patients.
Lead author Joseph Firth from the Western Sydney University, said: 'When you exercise you produce a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which may help to prevent age-related decline by reducing the deterioration of the brain.
'In other words,