Once again, the Mediterranean diet is winning out in the diet wars - this time for both physical and brain health. A large new study finds that women who follow a healthy diet during middle age have more than 40 percent greater odds of surviving past the age of 70 with no chronic illness, physical impairments or memory problems. In other words, the kind of spry old age we all hope to have.
Omega-3 fish oils, found in supplements as well as fatty fish like salmon and sardines, have been touted for their health benefits, including protecting against heart disease.
Older adults who regularly eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids - primarily oily varieties like salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna and trout - may add years to their lives, as compared with those age 65-plus who don't, new research finds. The fatty-fish eaters may also be able to reduce their chances of dying from heart disease by more than a third.
Add this to the approximately 8 billion benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: They could help preserve DNA segments known as telomeres, whose degradation is a key marker of aging. Shorter telomeres are associated with age-related decline, cancer and a higher risk of death (in one study of people over 60, those with shorter telomeres were three times more likely to die from heart disease and eight times more likely to die from an infectious disease). But according to Ohio State University scientists, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements (such as fish oil pills) can help lengthen telomeres in middle-aged and older adults.
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