Not even all the Botox in the world can stop the inevitable truth that is aging. But with the help of a healthy diet, regular exercise regimen, and proper skincare, some can do so more gracefully than others. "Several authoritative and fascinating studies have demonstrated anti-aging benefits that are universally accessible," writes Julia Samton, MD, for Inc. "Science has demonstrated that specifically, a Mediterranean diet improves cardiovascular, neurological, and bone health, and adds to longevity."
Those who follow a Mediterranean diet subsist mostly on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and olive oil and get their protein from fish and poultry as opposed to red meat. Samton references one study of 1300 participants, which found that those who ate a Mediterranean diet for one year had lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker linked to aging.
Another study of 562 participants actually found that 70-somethings who had followed a Mediterranean diet had half the brain atrophy, or shrinkage, typical for adults in the same age group. "Less atrophy means less dementia, better memory, and improved ability to think clearly and effectively," she clarifies.
But Samton is quick to point out that a healthy Mediterranean diet alone won't do it; regular exercise and taking care of your mental well-being through social relationships, meditation, and optimism are all a part of the equation. "As hard as it may be at times, keeping a positive attitude has huge anti-aging benefits," she writes. One study that followed people for up to 23 years found that "those with a positive outlook about their future, who saw aging as 'no big deal,' had a greater ability to function independently, maintain physical fitness, work full time, and enjoy themselves socially."
Pick up The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook to learn more about this common meal plan, and share your review of the diet below!