Following a Mediterranean diet could add three years extra to your life, revealed researchers. A Mediterranean diet is a rich source of chemicals known anti-oxidants, help to fight cancer, heart disease and could slow the ageing process. So, following the regime could be the healthy alternative.
Doctors and nutritionists extensively recommend the Mediterranean diet as a healthy eating plan it is high in fruits, vegetables, fish and wholegrain cereals. Additionally it is low in meat and dairy, which contain great amounts of saturated fats. This diet was inspired by the eating habits of Greece and Southern Italy, hence its name.
Researchers from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg examined the eating habits of about twelve hundred people aged seventy and above. All the study participants were asked to fill a questionnaire containing details of how much fruit, vegetables, cereals, meat and fish they consumed plus how much alcohol they drank.
The study participants were followed since 1970 and were contacted by researchers every few years to observe about their general health. It was found that participants who followed a Mediterranean style diet were twenty percent more likely to be alive eight years later.
They calculated that on average participants lived far longer between two and three years in comparison to those who had a different eating regime. According to lead author Gianluca Tognon, this means in practice that older people who eat a Mediterranean diet live an estimated two to three years longer than those who do not.
Fruit and vegetables contain active substances such as antioxidants that are thought to prevent cancer and heart disease. If you eat more vegetables and fish you also tend to eat less animal products including meat. The whole dietary pattern should be considered not just one or two items. The study is published in the journal Age.
So eat more fruit, vegetables, fish and unrefined cereals and less meat and dairy. The conclusion that can be drawn from these studies is that there is no doubt that a Mediterranean diet is associated with better health, not only for the elderly but also for youngsters, added Dr Tognon.