Mediterranean diet promotes gut health, a recent study showed. This diet has been touted as one of the healthiest meal plans. In a recent study published in the BMJ Journal, researchers found that following a Mediterranean diet could minimize cognitive decline while improving gut bacteria, which are linked to healthy aging. In that case, this type of diet might be an anti aging solution, too.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
It is one of the meal plans that even doctors would recommend. This type of diet is high in legumes, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains.
However, if you like eating red meat, then this meal plan might not be ideal.
Several studies showed that people who are following this diet live longer. They also have better metabolic health and mental health. Their cardiovascular health is also better.
What did the New Study suggest about how the Mediterranean Diet Promotes Gut Health?
The study was conducted by experts from various countries. Their findings were published in the journal Gut.
The researchers studied data from over 600 older adults from five different countries.
They found that the Mediterranean diet improved the gut health of aging people. It also reduced their frailty.
Frailty involves low-grade inflammation. It also contributes to poor health. To validate that this diet could lower frailty, the authors recruited more than 600 individuals, aged 65 to 79.
The result was that individuals who adhered to this diet had lower frailty markers. Their cognitive function also improved.
How the Mediterranean Diet Promotes Gut Health?
The study examined how this diet impacts gut health. In previous studies, researchers found that older individuals have less healthy bacteria because they followed more restrictive diets.
The authors of the study concluded that having an unhealthy gut can lead to poorer general health. The stool samples of the participants were taken after 12 months of following the said diet. The subjects had better bacterial diversity in their gut.
“Collectively, our findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier ageing.”https://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2020/01/31/gutjnl-2019-319654
The study showed that with better gut bacterial diversity, the aging individuals experienced improved markers of frailty. It means that they have better handgrip strength, cognitive functioning and walking speed.
Gut Health and Mediterranean Diet
Eating a diverse diet is vital to maintain a healthy gut. And the Mediterranean diet promotes a variety. It highlights food that is rich in fiber, which increases good gut bugs.
The gut has a vital role in improving our overall health. The healthy gut bacteria are in constant communication with the body system.
This diet turned out to provide good gut bacteria the nutrients that they need to promote wellness. One of the benefits is that they keep body inflammation low.
Why Keeping Body Inflammation Low is Vital?
People suffering from chronic inflammation are more likely to encounter health problems, like cancer and heart disease.
Several studies showed that ongoing inflammation could be the reason healthy people would develop cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
Inflammation is also one of the reasons some patients developed a type of cancer.
Furthermore, inflammation is linked to autoimmune diseases that are common in women, like lupus, thyroid deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Thankfully, you can lower your inflammation through regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Thus, when you follow this healthy diet, you are providing the right nutrients to your gut bacteria. If you boost the good bacteria in your gut, you are reducing the number of bad bacteria that produce bile acids.
When these gut bacteria produce too much bile acids, it uses insulin resistance, cell damage, fat buildup, and colorectal cancer.
With this diet, though, you are providing your intestines with key nutrients, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Even though environmental factors can influence inflammation, following this type of diet could improve gut and system health.
As you protect the core of your gut bacteria, adhering to this diet could assist in retaining a stable community state in the gut.
Possible Problems with this Diet
But there is a problem with this diet with older individuals. The reason for this is that some older people suffering from IBS, for instance, may not easily adapt to this diet.
The Mediterranean diet promotes gut health but it may not be a great option for patients who have problems with dysphagia or saliva production.
However, if you have difficult swelling or eating, you can still follow this diet by pureeing your food.
Intermittent Fasting to Lower Inflammation
On another note, if you wish to lower your inflammation, intermittent fasting can be a great option. There is a new study suggested that IF could reduce inflammation, which leads to various diseases.
Some doctors suggest their patients eat within certain hours of the day. Plus, the patients must avoid sugars.
Furthermore, eating between 11 am and 7 pm can be ideal because it mimics our circadian rhythms. With time-restricted eating, you can improve your gut health and boost microbiota.
The Mediterranean diet promotes gut health as it involves eating fresh produce, legumes and whole grains, as well as healthful fats and fish. This diet also lowers inflammation. For older individuals, following this diet can offer tons of benefits, including anti aging. And if you pair it with intermittent fasting, you can lower your risk of developing various life-threatening diseases.