We’ve been touting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for a while—it’s great for weight loss, boosts heart health, and can even improve your memory. Now, new research shows that loading your plate with fish, veggies, and whole grains might be as close as you’ll ever get to the fountain of youth, too.
For the study, presented at a conference in Brussels by the NU-AGE project, almost 1,300 older adults from five European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K.) ate a customizable Mediterranean diet for one year. Overall, researchers discovered that their Mediterranean-style eats decreased levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker associated with aging, among participants. Not only that, but it also lowered the rate of bone loss for those with osteoporosis.
So save money on your wrinkle creams and start eating like you’re on vacation in Greece, instead. Try substituting butter and margarine for extra-virgin olive oil, which is lower in saturated and trans fats. Or, work more herbs into your seasonings, rather than loading up your dishes with salt. If possible, cut back on red meats, and replace those burgers with more meals of poultry and fish. And load up on vegetables! The more color on your plate, the better. Or, whip up these tasty recipes next time you’re considering takeout.