People who have been living a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and olive oils appears have reported improvement in their overall well-being, as if their aging process is being slowed down.
The good news, that kind of diet, the Mediterranean Diet is now backed by scientific study to have biological markers of slow aging, suggested that the regimen may significantly extend your life.
Immaculata De Vivo from the Harvard Medical School and colleagues studied over 4,675 women and found out that the telomeres, the tiny structures found at the ends of the chromosomes in our cell of those women who are in Mediterranean diet appears to be degrading (getting shorter) slowly.
“In this large study, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomeres,” the experts wrote in their study. “These results further support the benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet for promoting health and longevity.”
The telomeres are disposable buffers at the ends of chromosomes which are truncated during cell division; their presence protects the genes before them on the chromosome from being truncated instead. Over time, due to each cell division, the telomere ends become shorter. It is a great indicator of a cell’s age.
The strong correlation between Mediterranean diet and slow aging is undeniable, although it may not prove causation. The researchers point to the high amount of antioxidants present in the components of Mediterranean diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oils) as the main reason for the diet’s effect. Antioxidants in general reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with many chronic diseases.
De Vivo moreover clarified that the diet doesn’t reverse the aging process, it just slows it.