The health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet – that is one that consists of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, olive oil and even the occasional glass of wine – have been touted by US based nutritionists and medical experts for some time now. A variety of studies have shown that not only can such a diet help you maintain a healthy weight it can also, when used in conjunction with a regular exercise program, seems to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. And now another new study is indicating that it may indeed offer another big bonus; it may help you stay younger longer.
For the study, presented at a conference in Brussels by the NU-AGE project, almost 1,300 older adults from five European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K.) ate a customizable Mediterranean diet for one year. Overall, researchers discovered that their Mediterranean-style eats decreased levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker associated with aging, among participants. Not only that, but it also lowered the rate of bone loss for those with osteoporosis. Via womenshealthmag.com
So should you start replacing all of those anti-aging potions and supplements that are lining the shelves of your bathroom cabinet for a Med style diet instead? Well it would certainly be cheaper and tastier that’s for sure. When nutritionists talk about this kind of diet they are not talking about pizza, or gyros, or tons of pasta, as that is simply the American idea of what people in the Mediterranean eat on a daily basis. That’s not actually the reality though, as the typical daily Mediterranean diet breaks down a lot like this:
Of course diet alone is not going to keep you young. As the pyramid indicates being physically active is key as well, as is the case no matter what you eat. But as a diet to live by this one is sensible and balanced so giving it a try may not be such a bad idea. And let’s remind ourselves that Italian actress Sophia Loren swears that it is just her diet, not plastic surgery, that keeps her looking the way she does, and this is her just last month, now aged 81!