It’s roots are the diet of the people from Southern Europe. The climate and terrain limit them to little red meat, requiring them to get protein and fats from better sources. It has many adaptations — see if one is right for you.
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish have long been known. It can help manager weight, lower risks of cardiovascular disease and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Now there’s more good news. A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in Boston has show the diet will positively effect your telomeres, the protective caps at the end of the chromosomes that house our DNA. Telomeres shorten with age in all of us, but the Mediterranean diet can slow down that process. The longer the telomeres, the healthier you are. Not surprisingly smoking, obesity and drinking sugar-sweetened drinks can prematurely shorten a person’s telomeres.
Finally, None of the individual dietary components was associated with telomere length, which suggests that the whole diet is an important element, rather than one item being a kind of superfood.
To read more about the study, click here.