Mediterranean diet boosts women’s physical, mental health

A Mediterranean diet—rich in fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruits—appears to reduce the chances of developing chronic disease later in life, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health. Tracking the dietary habits of over 10,000 women beginning in late middle age, researchers identified who among them developed chronic diseases. They also evaluated the women’s physical function and gave them memory tests.

The study appeared in Annals of Internal Medicine on November 5, 2013.

Study co-authors Fran Grodstein and Meir Stampfer of HSPH appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition to discuss the findings. Grodstein pointed out that the implications of the study were broad. “This really suggests that a healthy diet can help improve multiple aspects of your health and your ability to function when you’re older,” she said, and not only disease.

Read the NPR article and listen to the interview.