People living in Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean countries seem to be better protected against certain conditions, like heart problems, obesity, vascular diseases or even cancer. One reason might be their particular nutritional habits.
The Mediterranean diet revolves around plant-based meals, plenty of vegetable and fruits, olive oil, whole grains, fish, but generally fewer servings of red meats. Just picture the traditional cuisine in this area, the beautiful cheeses, fresh seafood, juicy tomatoes and grapes. an
While this sort of natural and organic regimen is known to provide countless health benefits, there was no actual scientific data to support claims of its effectiveness, until now. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition finally brought some evidence to back them up. It revealed that people here lived longer and had an associated risk of death from all causes of up to 25% lower. What is more surprising is the fact that the study was conducted on groups of people 65 and older. Even adjusting your diet in time, to follow it better, improved results.
“We found, for the first time I believe, a dose-response relationship between the Mediterranean diet and mortality risk. That means that the greater adherence to this diet, the greater the benefit“, said Marialaura Bonaccio, one of the authors.
The article does not point to one single aspect that would have an overwhelming effect but suggests that each element contributes in part to create this development.
A combination of climate and social influences seem to the root for this specific mixture of foods rich in fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Olive oil provides the monosaturated fats, berries offer a high dose of phytonutrients, while almonds and walnuts are packed with healthy amino acids.
Add something like salmon as a protein source, and who knows how long you could live!