Many individuals living in the Mediterranean believe that food is the root of the soul, so it is no surprise that they have a lower percentage of death from deadly conditions than others.
Their secret lies in their food of course, with countless studies highlighting the fact that diet is one of the best ways to eat healthy.
The longevity of a person is largely determined by the decisions he makes along the way. Choosing to get the recommended amount of exercise, abstaining from smoking and choosing the right foods to nourish the body will all determine how long you will live. According to many research studies, the follow a Mediterranean diet is not only an easy way to eat healthy with the options of delicious food, but will also prevent major diseases to help you live longer.
Several studies link a plant-rich diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as a lower risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression and brain deterioration.
These effects are attributed to the nutrients and antioxidants found in plant foods, which include polyphenols, carotenoids, folates and vitamin C.
Accordingly, several studies link plant-based diets, which contain a higher percentage of naturally plant-based foods, to a 12-15% reduction in the risk of premature death.
The same studies also indicate a 29-52% lower risk of death from cancer, heart or kidney disease, or hormone-related diseases.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet for 12 months was associated with beneficial changes in the gut microbiome and stopping the loss of bacterial diversity.
Dieting has also been associated with reduced production of potentially harmful inflammatory chemicals.
The researchers said the most surprising finding was ” the consistency of associations of Diet-modified microbiome markers with biological markers of aging (regardless of nationality).
A study published in the journal American Heart Association, was based on an analysis of eating information of more than 10,000 middle-aged adults in the United States, who were monitored from 1987 to 2016, and had no cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study.
They then categorized participants ‘ eating patterns by the ratio of plant foods they ate versus animal foods.
Overall, the study reported that people who ate most plant-based foods had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other conditions that help increase longevity.
Higher consumption of Plant-Based Foods was also associated with a 32% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Following the Mediterranean diet, the health and diversity of gut microbes improved, preventing and treating conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and infections associated with autoimmune diseases.
Marialora Bonaccio, epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurology Institute IRCCS Neuromed, said: “as we face the aging process around the world, particularly in Europe, it is especially important to know what kinds of tools we have today to counter this aging process. We all know that the diet of the Mediterranean beneficial to health but there are few studies that focus on the elderly. Previous studies have suggested benefits associated with both heart disease and cancer.”