Anti-aging Properties of Mediterranean Diet

Anti-aging Properties of Mediterranean Diet

According to the NU-AGE project, funded by the EU, following a Mediterranean diet could slow down the aging process.

Researchers announced their findings at a recent Brussels conference, telling those in attendance that adhering to the NU-AGE Mediterranean-style diet measurably decreased the levels of a particular protein. The protein, known in the scientific community as C-reactive protein, is one of the primary inflammatory markers known to be associated with aging. The most powerful and advanced techniques including metabolomics, transcriptomics, genomics and the analysis of the gut microbiota are being used to understand what effect, the Mediterranean style diet has on the population of over 65 years old.

Earlier studies have shown that women who ate more Mediterranean foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, unrefined grains, fish and olive oil had longer telomeres in their blood cells. Telomeres are sequences of DNA that form protective caps at the end of chromosomes. Telomeres get shorter every time a cell divides, and factors like stress and inflammation in the body may also shorten telomeres. The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants and anti-imflammatory compounds, which help prevent inflammation in the body.
Food we eat influences the development of inflammation within the body. This is important to understand because inflammation is associated with ageing and development of age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls and a risk factor for heart disease), type 2 diabetes and neurodegeneration leading to cognitive decline.

Anti-aging Properties of Mediterranean Diet

Ten Commandments of Mediterranean Diet

Below are the “10 commandments” of the Mediterranean diet which can help you get a handle on what it involves.

  1. Use olive oil as the main added fat (aim for around 60 mls /day)
  2. Eat vegetables with every meal (include 100g leafy greens and 100g tomatoes, and 200g other vegetables/day)
  3. Include at least two legumes meals (250g serve) per week
  4. Eat at least two servings of fish (150-200g serves) per week and include oily fish:for example Atlantic and Australian salmon, blue-eye trevalla, blue mackerel, gemfish, canned sardines, and canned salmon. Canned tuna is not as high in the important fish oil omega-3, but still a good choice to include in your fish serves.
  1. Eat smaller portions of meat (beef, lamb, pork and chicken) and less often (no more than once or twice a week)
  2. Eat fresh fruit every day and dried fruit and nuts as snacks or dessert
  3. Eat yoghurt everyday (about 200g) and cheese in moderation (about 30 to 40 grams per day)
  4. Include wholegrain breads and cereals with meals (aim for 3-4 slices of bread per day)
  5. Consume wine in moderation (one standard drink a day, which is about 100 mls), always with meals and don’t get drunk. Try and have a couple of alcohol free days a week
  6. Have sweets or sweet drinks for special occasions only.

The study focused primarily on the anti-aging impacts of the Mediterranean diet on seniors. It’s named after the Mediterranean Sea, where the cooking style and many of the diet’s staples are known to have originated.


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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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