A new study suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet could lead to a longer life. Associate professor Immaculata De Vivo from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School was the lead study author, and found that women who participated in the study had longer telomeres from eating a Mediterranean diet.
Telomeres reside at the end of your chromosomes and serve as the structures that house your DNA and protect your genetic information. As you age, telomeres can grow shorter as a result of practicing unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, consuming large portions, and being sedentary. Shortened telomeres are often associated with lower life expectancy and age-related diseases. The women who participated in this study were part of a larger, ongoing Nurses’ Health Study of more than 120,000 U.S. Nurses.
The Mediterranean diet has already been known to help people manage their weight and lower the risk for chronic issues. The new research involved women eating meals with items rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil, and fish. Dairy, meat, and saturated fats are minimized in the Mediterranean diet, but it does include drinking a glass of red wine with dinner.
To read more about the Mediterranean diet and how it affects life expectancy, read the article Eating the Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life from CNN.