Mediterranean Diet and Longer Telomeres

Many people are looking for the best diet to eat that will keep them healthy and youthful. While most people have heard of the Mediterranean diet, they may not know its exact benefits to the body or how it can keep you alive longer. Studies have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet can influence your telomeres, which can add to your longevity and overall health.

Mediterranean Diet and Longer Telomeres

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has long been known for its impressive health benefits, but now science and research are proving its benefits to be true. Those who eat a Mediterranean diet focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil and fish as the main components of their diet. Foods like dairy, poultry and red meat are avoided and only eaten in extreme moderation. Although many of the foods included in the Mediterranean diet contain fats, these are healthy fats and not saturated ones. Saturated fat is generally avoided in this diet, as well.

In addition to the regular consumption of these heart-healthy foods, those who adhere to a Mediterranean diet also regularly consume alcohol, typically wine, with their meals. They do not drink excessively; rather, they enjoy a glass or two of wine with dinner for its health benefits and to help them enjoy their meal. This moderation allows people who practice the Mediterranean diet to receive beneficial effects from the wine rather than detrimental effects from consuming too much alcohol.

What are Telomeres, and Why are They Important?

Telomeres are sequences of DNA that repeat at the ends of the chromosomes inside your body. They help to protect your chromosomes from losing important DNA, and they keep the chromosomes from becoming damaged. Research has shown that the length of a telomere can be a sign of aging, as people with shorter ones are typically considered to be more at risk for developing diseases and have a shorter life expectancy than those with longer ones. Telomeres tend to become shorter as your age, although differences among individuals and varying ethnic groups do apply. Issues like inflammation and stress can also shorten the length of a telomere and make you more susceptible to disease and a shorter lifespan. Generally, however, science agrees that the length of a telomere can also be affected by diet and lifestyle differences in people.

The Mediterranean Diet and Longer Telomeres

An extensive study conducted from 1989 to 1990 focused on examining the telomere length of female nurses who chose to participate. The results of this study found that those who regularly consumed a Mediterranean diet had much longer telomeres than those who ate other diets. On average, those who ate a Mediterranean diet had chromosomes that appeared over four years younger than others. Other factors may be involved, but overall, the research has shown that the Mediterranean diet will influence your telomere length and increase the enzyme telomerase to prevent them from shortening. For this reason, eating a Mediterranean diet can help lengthen your life and keep you more healthy.

If you are concerned about the effects of aging on your body, and you want to remain healthy for as long as possible, you should consider switching to a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help improve the length of the telomeres that protect your chromosomes. This means you will live longer and that your body will become more healthy.

Also Read: Stress Recovery and Telomere Length-How closely are they Related

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