Health Science

The Mediterranean Diet Can Boost Brain Function, This Is Why

Photo: So Delicious

A new study finds that older adults who follow the Mediterranean diet have better cognition and better performance on cognitive tests.

The research was conducted by the University of Illinois and it analyzed 32 key nutrients in the Mediterranean diet. The study found that several of those nutrients are linked with better cognition. “We wanted to investigate whether diet and nutrition predict cognitive performance in healthy older adults,” said University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Christopher Zwilling in a statement. They led the study with University of Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey.

This is not the first time that the Mediterranean diet was found to improve overall body health. Several studies show that this diet, that is based on limiting the consumption of red meat and the reliance on several plant-based foods, connects to better brain functioning, especially in aging adults.

But why better cognition?

116 people with ages between 65 and 75 participated in the research that examined nutrient intake and brain health. The research team did not take surveys on food intake. Instead, they analyzed patterns of nutrient biomarkers in the blood. Those patterns were then linked to better cognition and brain health.

Want Better Cognition? Follow the Mediterranean Diet
Elements of the Mediterranean diet work best together, in synergy.

So, what are the nutrients in question? Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, walnuts and Brussels sprouts. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and pistachios. Lycopene, a vivid red pigment in tomatoes and watermelon and a few other fruits and vegetables. Alpha- and beta-carotenoids, which give carrots and sweet potatoes an orange color. And vitamins B and D, folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. A lot of them work in synergy with one another and they are all quite present in the Mediterranean diet.

“Efficiency has to do with how information is communicated within the network. We looked at ‘local efficiency’ – how well information is shared within a spatially confined set of brain regions – and also ‘global efficiency,’ which reflects how many steps are required to transfer information from any one region to any other region in the network,” Aron Barbey said in the same statement.

That means the synergy is what matters. All of the nutrients are fine for you on their own, but working together, they make a superpowered dynamo team.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.


Trader Joe’s Continues Their Hummus Innovation: BEET HUMMUS Y’all

TJ-Beet-HummusTrader Joe’s has added a new Beet Hummus to their grocery line-up. Surprisingly not a product from Nickelodeon’s beloved cartoon Doug.

The Middle Eastern dish is made with chickpeas colored red and purple. It’s blended with beet juice, canola oil, garlic, olive oil, tahini, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, spearmint and other spices. The hummus is topped with extra beet chunks to complete the experience.

Patrons can find the Beet Hummus at their local Trader Joe’s location. Each seven-ounce tub goes for $2.29.


Waffle + Falafel = Wafalafel


Remember that time when we thought it would be fun aka totally genius to see what we could stick in a waffle iron and make more delicious? Well Serious Eats just upped the waffle game with their latest creation, the wafalafel.

It may sound like “waffle-awful” but it looks “waffle-freakin-mazing” to us. Rather than sticking some falafel straight onto the iron (which resulted in a falafel fail), Serious Eats figured out that by wrapping the falafel in some pita bread the ultimate wafalafel experience was achieved.

The perfectly portable wafalafel is not only easier to eat but significantly less messy than your average rolled up falafel sandwich and way more dunk-able. The process is simple, grab your falafel sandwich with some olive oil and throw it in the waffle iron. Cook until your desired crispiness level and boom. The wafalafel is best served with a side of tahini and hot sauce.

H/T + PicThx Serious Eats

Packaged Food

Our Look: Cedar’s Pita Chips and Hommus

Cedar's Mediterranean Foods Pita Chips Hommus Hummus

Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods sent us a whole bunch of goodness in the form of flavored Pita Chips and at least 5 types of Hommus this past week (Lebanese Elie and the Internet swears that it’s ‘Hummus’). We were stunned at the amount of flavors that actually existed with Pita Chips, most of us only have experiencing the classic Pita Chip or a garlic variety. But just so you know, Sesame, Cinnamon Sugar and Ranch Pita Chips DO EXIST.

Cedar's Mediterranean Roasted Red Pepper Hommus Hummus

And the only problem with sending us awesome flavors of hommus (Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic Lovers & Artichoke Spinach) is the fact that we’ll never be able to go back to regular hommus again. Well, at least until next week when we’re all out of this fancy hommus.

Cedar's Mediterranean Artichoke and Spinach Hommus Hummus

But by far the greatest discovery was combining the Cinnamon Sugar pita chips with good ol’ Nutella. The pita chip, being the strong carb flavor it is, didn’t fare to well with the addition of cinnamon sugar all by itself. But adding a flavor like peanut butter, chocolate or in our case Nutella, can take your pita chip to new heights. We already have thoughts of deep-frying pita bread with Nutella and cinnamon to get our Arabic Churro on. Take that Disneyland.

Cedar's Mediterranean Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips with Nutella

For your own taste, find yourself a Cedar’s retailer near you!


Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and when it comes to keeping the dinner table exciting, there’s no need to limit yourself to turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin. Thanks to fellow Foodbeast Dorothy Reinhold, we have this amazing look at Mediterranean Deviled Eggs. The big flavors that are involved in these eggs truly have me excited. We’re looking at balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, Kalamta olives, capers, oregano and a few dashes of hot sauce. The garnishes are on rotation, skipping between a shower of Italian parsley, rosemary sprigs, sun-dried tomato slivers (personal favorite!). If you’re looking to showoff to your guests your elevated kitchen skills, check out the recipe!