Harvard Men's Health Watch

In the journals: Healthy eating, healthy mind

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Men who eat a Mediterranean-style diet are less likely to suffer from strokes, depression, and declining mental function in older age, according to a study in Annals of Neurology. The study pooled the findings of 22 different studies, including 11 on Mediterranean eating and stroke risk.

A Mediterranean diet calls for is getting most of your daily calories from a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, along with moderate fish, poultry, eggs, and olive oil and minimal red and processed meat and saturated fats. For those who imbibe, a modest amount of red wine with meals can be included to cap off the heart-healthy benefits.

More than 190,000 people were involved in the various studies reviewed. People who adhered most closely to the diet were about 30% less likely to have strokes and develop depression. In addition, the risk of declining mental skills was 40% lower. The effect on stroke was lower in people who only followed the diet part of the time.

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