Everyone wants to know the secret to longevity, and the answer will often come down to what you are putting in your body. Food and the right type of diet will always be key, but that doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of dull dishes, say experts
Living a life relatively disease-free is the dream of many.
Upon entering the golden years, being able to enjoy that time in a healthy manner can be achievable, but the foods you eat will be the critical determining factor.
Studies have shown that living in a hotter climate where the pace of life is much slower, as well as having a more balanced lifestyle, can increase your life expectancy.
For those of us who are unable to up sticks and move abroad, adopting our diet is a key way to help reduce age-related diseases and boost longevity.
This is where one of the most popular diets come into play bursting with freshness and flavour and a helping hand in fighting age-related diseases.
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What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that’s rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish.
It keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum. And you can have a glass of red wine with dinner without cheating.
The diet has been consistently linked with health benefits including helping reducing obesity risk, and it can lower your risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular diseases.
Scientific studies conducted on this way of eating show that the average lifespan can be extended – as we’ve seen from looking at countries in the Mediterranean that tend to have good levels of longevity – and what’s more, better quality of life in their ageing populations.
In many countries, fresh fruit and vegetables are widely used to create tasty, healthy meals.
Frozen ready meals and canned food aren’t really common.
Seafood is also widely available at a good price, meaning that it’s easier to get life-enhancing omega-3 oils into your diet.
Mediterranean diet for b rain health
According to one study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, eating a Mediterranean-style diet may help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers found that eating a diet high in unsaturated fats, fish, fruits, and vegetables and low in dairy and red meat helped to cleanse the brain of the protein build-up associated with memory loss and dementia.
Study participants involved in the research performed better on cognitive tests and showed less brain volume shrinkage and protein biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s, further proving how diet can help improve brain health.
Mediterranean diet for h ealthy weight
Many foods of the Mediterranean diet have high antioxidant content and it has been found that diets rich in antioxidants reap health benefits correlated with a significant decrease in weight gain.
More and more research is also confirming how good fat found in olive oil does not make you fat.
Of course, as with everything, moderation is always best but olive oil contains monounsaturated fat which is great for overall health and the waistline.
Key health benefits evident from adopting a Mediterranean diet include:
- Preventing heart disease and strokes
- Keeping you agile
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s
- Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Increasing longevity
- Protecting against type 2 diabetes.