The origin of the miraculous Mediterranean diet dates back to ancient times. It is inspired by the healthy dietary patterns of countries like Greece, Southern Italy and Spain. The highlight of this diet is the heavy use of olive oil along with fresh vegetables, grains, lentils and moderate consumption of seafood, yogurt and red wine. (The Secret of the Mediterranean Diet? There is no Secret)This diet has received a lot of attention from health experts and researchers with various studies indicating that it promotes heart health. All the ingredients used in this diet are rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect you against chronic diseases. Now, a latest study published in the British Medical Journal has established a link between longevity and the Mediterranean diet. (Include Olive Oil in Your Diet to Prevent Heart Failure)Researchers have found that women who eat a Mediterranean diet can keep age-related diseases at bay and live longer than others. The study involved 4,676 disease-free women. Their findings show that greater adherence to such a diet is associated with longer telomeres, the biomarkers of ageing. According to Immaculata De Vivo, Associate Professor at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US, "To our knowledge this is the largest population-based study specifically addressing the association between Mediterranean diet and telomere length in healthy, middle-aged women. Our results further support the benefits of adherence to this diet to promote health and longevity." (Why the Mediterranean Diet Beats all Other Diets)Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that get shorter every time a cell divides. Shorter telomeres have been associated with decreased life-expectancy and increased risk of age-related diseases, while longer telomeres have been linked to longevity.With inputs from IANS
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