With the New Year coming to an end, many people are looking forward to starting 2015 with a fresh start.
For some, a new year is a new them. This transformation can take shape in many forms. Ditching old habits, eating healthier, and going to the gym more often are common fads that many promise to accomplish starting in January. Eating healthier is especially popular, and the new Mediterranean diet is gaining a groundswell of attention.
According to Harvard Medical School and the Women’s Hospital of Boston, the Mediterranean diet can be the key to “living longer.” The diet is strict and places high emphasis on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, grains, olive oil and fish. With the focus on these healthier options, the diet keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum, according to cnn.com.
Following the diet does have long-term benefits, besides the potential longer lifespan. Managing weight and lowering one’s risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease are only a few health benefits that one could profit from if following the Mediterranean diet.
From the biological perspective, eating the appropriate foods produce longer telomeres which in turn, can elongate one’s life expectancy. Poor habits, such as drinking, smoking, and doing drugs have shown to shorten telomeres, which are associated with aging and lower life expectancies. Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor at Brigham Hospital in Boston, said “telomere shortening is irreversible, but healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent accelerated shortening.”
With the New Year coming, many are looking for new and healthier lifestyle choices to take up in 2015. Aside from joining the gym and ditching old habits, eating the Mediterranean diet can also provide health benefits that should not be overlooked.