##Mediterranean diet could lower risk of vascular dementia - what to add to your meal plan

###Mediterranean diet could lower risk of vascular dementia - what to add to your meal plan | #MIDDAY

Vascular dementia is a type of dementia caused by a reduced flow of blood to the brain.

It’s one of the most common types of dementia in the UK, with about 150,000 cases in the country.

The condition tends to get worse over time, and symptoms include difficulty concentrating, mood changes, and slowness of thought.

Britons could lower their risk of vascular dementia by sticking to a Mediterranean diet, scientists have claimed.

But, which foods form part of a Mediterranean diet?

A Mediterranean diet could protect against vascular dementia, according to Italian and US scientists.

“The Mediterranean diet pattern, based on complex carbohydrates, fibre and non-animal fat, appears to protect against age-related cognitive decline and cognitive decline of vascular or degenerative origin,” they reported in [Medical journal insert here].

The Alzheimer’s Society added: “There is some evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk of developing problems with memory and thinking, and getting some forms of dementia.

“Investigations have shown that this kind of diet is associated with lower levels of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and death from any cause.

“They have also shown that sticking to the diet more strictly might be associated with slower rates of decline in memory and thinking.”

A Mediterranean diet incorporates lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals.

It also includes oily fish and dairy, while being low in meat, sugar and saturated fats, the charity said.

Olive oil provides most of the fat in the diet.

High levels of antioxidants from the fruit and vegetables may help to protect against brain cell damage, which in turn is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

It could also increase the amount of protein in the brain, a substance believed to protect the cells from damage.

Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills the brain cells.

The condition develops as a result of narrowed blood vessels inside the brain.

A stroke could also increase your risk of vascular dementia.

You should speak to a GP if you think you have early symptoms of dementia.

If it’s spotted at an earlier stage, treatment may help to slow down the condition’s progress.

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