January 23/Southfield, Mich./WJBK -- A new study published in the European Journal of Neurology finds a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish can reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease by almost half.

The study revealed healthy eating habits slashed the risk of the incurable brain disorder by up to 46%.

Although it is not clear why certain foods might have a protective effect, some research suggests Parkinson's disease may be more likely to occur when cells in the body undergo a damaging process called oxidative stress.

Poor diet, environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and other factors like stress can generate harmful substances that attack healthy cells in much the same way as rust erodes a car.

Fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts -- staples of the Mediterranean diet -- all contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help to block that process.

 From the January 24, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.