An international team of public health specialists, addiction researchers, cardiovascular and metabolic health professionals, and nutritionists has found that switching from a typical Western diet to a healthier regimen could add 10 years of life for the average middle-aged person.
There is now abundant evidence showing that micronutrient-rich diets improve health and increase longevity.
The most studied of all micronutrient-rich diets, the so-called ‘Mediterranean diet,’ is based on the eating habits of populations living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Southern Italy, Spain, and Greece. Compared with people residing in Northern Europe or North America, the population of this region tends to have greater longevity and a lower occurrence of chronic degenerative diseases.
Discussing the role played by the Mediterranean diet in conferring these advantages, a recent paper by researchers from Italy analyzes how its micronutrient content can help prevent the onset of today’s most common diseases. Published in the AIMS Public Health journal, the paper describes how the key components on which the Mediterranean diet has historically been based include fruit and vegetables in large quantities, whole grains, legumes and nuts, olive oil, yogurt, moderate amounts of cheese, a maximum of around four eggs per week, with small amounts of meat, fish, and wine.
Noting how the benefit of such a dietary regimen lies in its ability to maintain health and improve longevity, the AIMS Public Health researchers summarize key studies linking it to the prevention and treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive decline.
To learn more about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, see this article on our website.