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Heart Beat: Go Mediterranean for the brain and heart

November 1, 2009

Heart Beat

Go Mediterranean for the brain and heart

Keeping your brain in tip-top shape as you age is every bit as important as keeping your heart healthy. Brain exercises like reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing chess, and knitting have been touted as one way to prevent memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. Healthy lifestyle choices may be a better way.

A pair of studies — one of nearly 2,000 older New York City residents and the other of 1,400 older men and women living in Bordeaux, France — published together in The Journal of the American Medical Association add to the growing evidence that what's good for the heart is also good for the brain. They indicate that following a Mediterranean-type diet and exercising regularly can help fight an age-related decline in brain function or the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

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