Among the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet, researchers have found it is linked to slower aging.

Women who ate Mediterranean foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, unrefined grains, fish, and olive oil had longer telomeres in their blood cells. (Refining removes much of the fiber linked to longevity, as well as Vitamin E and B.)

*Telomeres are sequences of DNA that form protective caps at the end of chromosomes.

*Telomeres get shorter every time a cell divides and factors like stress and inflammation in the body may also shorten telomeres.

Mediterranean Diet is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help prevent inflammation in the body.

The women studied were ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, based on their adherence to the Mediterranean diet, 10 being the highest. With each level higher, telomere length corresponded with about 1.5 years less aging for the woman. Conclusion: more adherence to the Mediterranean leads to longevity and anti-aging.

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