Erika Olsson, a nutritionist and doctoral candidate at Uppsala University, has studied the effects of the so-called Mediterranean diet on people and found that it sharpens your memory. Men who were 70 years old or older and followed this diet ran a 70% lower risk of being affected by cognitive disorders.

“It was clear that the stricter the men followed the diet, the greater protection they got,” Olsson said in an interview with Dagens Nyheter. “We also saw a decreased tendency towards dementia (among these men).” In the study, 560 men aged 70 were asked questions about their dietary habits. They were divided into three groups according to their responses: Low-fat diet, Mediterranean diet, or high protein/low carbohydrate diet. Twelve years later, at age 82, it was clear that the risk for cognitive disorders were 70% less in the group where the men consumed a diet inspired by the Mediterranean.

What makes this particular diet so healthy? Scientists believe it has to do with the fact that it includes a lot of vegetables and healthy fats. This diet is also said to protect against cardiovascular diseases. Every year close to 20 000 Swedes suffer from dementia. Many more suffer from so-called cognitive disorders, which means problems with memory and difficulties understanding instructions.