Today’s Headlines: The Effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the Brain, Marriage on Heart Surgery Recovery, and Sugar on Childhood Obesity

The Mediterranean diet may protect your aging brain. If you eat a diet that is high in nuts, olive oil, fish, and legumes you could reverse your brain’s age. “Researchers found that among 684 elderly people with an average age of 80, those who stuck more closely to a Mediterranean diet…the difference in average brain size was 13.11 milliliters, or the equivalent to five years of aging, the authors reported.” While researchers are not sure why the Mediterranean diet provides the benefits it does, multiple studies have shown its beneficial effects on heart disease, breast cancer, and now brain health.  (LA Times)

Your survival rate of heart surgery may be higher and your recovery rate faster when you are married. A recent study showed that people who were unmarried had a 40% increased risk of death or slow recovery. The head of heart transplantation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Ashish Shah, said: “‘There’s always been the feeling that people who have [a person] that is supporting them tend to do better,” Shah told ABC News. “Most heart surgeons would agree that emotional stressors will complicate operations.”’ There was no definitive proof one the idea of love and support in married patients versus divorced, single, or widowed patients, but the next step in the study is to understand how help and support can be provided to those that are not married for better health results. (ABC)

If kids cut processed sugar out of their diets for nine days, they may be able to improve their health. Trying to tackle the issue of childhood obesity, a new study has published their findings in regards to processed sugars in kid’s diets. The study took “…43 obese Latino and black children aged 9 to 18 who also had high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels or signs of too much fat in their livers….were put on a restricted diet that kept in the junk food — they got bagels, pasta and pizza — but took out the added sugar from sodas, sweets and other foods…After nine days, blood pressure went down by an average of five points, the triglyceride measurement of cholesterol fell by 33 points, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) fell by 10 points, and blood sugar and insulin levels both fell, also.” The study was small, did not have a control group, and needs more work, but it did suggest to researchers that children in America eat too much sugar and removing it could be beneficial to their health. (NBC)