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Another Study Reports, Eat More Mediterranean Foods

Update Date: Nov 05, 2013 02:44 PM EST

Over the past few years, several studies have reported that eating more Mediterranean foods can be extremely beneficial for one's physical and cognitive health. Mediterranean foods include bean-based proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains and good fat. These types of foods have been tied to reducing heart problems and diabetes. In another study conducted more recently, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital decided to review dietary data. The research team concluded that women who followed a Mediterranean diet were healthier than women who did not.

The team had access to data that involved 10,670 women who were in their late 50s and 60s. The female participants had provided information on their diets, gave researchers access to their medical records and answered more diet questions 15 years later. This way, the researchers could monitor any diet changes and health conditions.

The researchers discovered that women who had a Mediterranean diet or close to one were healthier than women who did not eat Mediterranean foods. The team found that the healthiest women in the study avoided 11 chronic diseases. Some of these diseases included heart disease, diabetes or Parkinson's. This group of women also experienced no cognitive decline or physical disabilities. These two health factors were manifesting in some of the other participants who did not have a Mediterranean diet.

The researchers estimated that women who ate a Mediterranean diet especially during middle age were 40 percent more likely to live over the age of 70. They were also more likely to live past 70 without chronic disease or any mental or physical decline. These findings continue to stress the importance of a healthy diet. With more people becoming seniors in the upcoming years, finding ways to reduce health care costs for the elderly are important.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine

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