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A diet that sharpens the mind

A diet that sharpens the mind

MONDAY, September 24, 2018
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A new health study shows the consumption of a Mediterranean diet, characterised by nutritious foods such as vegetables and olive oil, is associated with a higher score in core school subjects and verbal skills in adolescents.

Undertaken by Jaume I University in Spain, researchers found that adherence to Mediterranean diet improved teenagers’ school performance because of the eating plan’s ability to promote brain development, increased by healthy fats found in olive oil and fish, and overall better sleep quality.
“Academic performance during adolescence has a significant influence on future health and work conditions,” said the research authors at Jaume I University in Castellon, Spain.
In the study, published in Acta Paediatrica, 269 teenagers of an average age of 13.9 were recruited in Castellon, Spain. Analysis of the data showed closer adherence to the Mediterranean diet was linked to better scores in core subjects, language and verbal ability, as well as higher grade point averages. 
According to the Centre for Educational Neuroscience in London, nutrition affects children’s performance in school for more mentally demanding tasks, short-term memory, and in the case of children who are poorly nourished in general.
Supporting the research is the fact that the Mediterranean diet is filled with wholesome foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil and fish – which provide a beneficial amount of vitamins, fats, and minerals to allow the body and brains of growing students to function at an optimum level.
Thai parents can also support their children’s learning abilities by monitoring diets, which plays a proven part of helping to increase the ability to learn. Incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients found in the Mediterranean diet in easy Thai home-made recipes cooked with olive oil, such as salmon fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, stir-fried noodle with shrimps can easily support brain capacity for Thai children.
“The health benefits of olive oil, such as high antioxidants and the ability to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease are well-known around the world. The fact that research continues to reveal new ways that olive oil can help support good health, is a testament to its centuries of usage. If the Mediterranean diet and olive oil consumption can help teenagers and children reach their full scholastic abilities, then we are very proud to be able to offer the best quality olive oils to our Thai consumers,” says Alberto Perez Martin, head of Bertolli Thailand.
According to Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor Erica Steele of Holistic Family Practice in Virginia, USA, olive oil’s role in this study is closely linked to brain development.
“The Mediterranean diet has a positive outcome on brain health and brain development due to its high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered ‘smart fats.’ These fats supply building material for the brain and offer substantial memory-protective qualities.” In a study published in the Neurology Paper, scientists discovered that those with lower blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids performed worse on assessments and thinking tests that involved memory and problem-solving. The heart-healthy MedDiet also seems to be good for the brain.”