Mediterranean Diet Prevents Frailty in the Elderly

February 19, 2018

It's no secret that following the Mediterranean diet is great for your heart. For years, research has shown that this diet, which emphasizes primarily plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts), can help you avoid a heart attack. But now there's growing evidence that it can help you stay strong and independent as you age.

Frailty is rapidly becoming one of the biggest issues among the elderly. It robs them of their independence, and prevents them from enjoying the lifestyle they hoped to enjoy in retirement. Plus, it makes them much more likely to suffer from numerous health concerns, including falls, fractures, hospitalization, nursing home placement, disability, dementia, and premature death.

It also causes them to feel a drop in energy, weight loss, and weak muscles. One of the biggest reasons frailty is becoming so prevalent is a lack of nutrition. The standard American diet is so lacking in nutrients, the body just doesn't have the fuel it needs to remain strong throughout life. So a team led by Kate Walters, PhD and Gotaro Kojima, MD, of University College London, in the UK, wanted to find out if following a healthy diet might decrease your risk of frailty.

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This was a review study of all published studies examining associations between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and the development of frailty. The four studies they evaluated included 5,789 people in France, Spain, Italy, and China.

"We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail," said Dr. Walters. "People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least."

In particular, the researchers found that the Mediterranean diet helped older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels. Plus you get the added bonus of having a healthy heart - all ingredients for enjoying your retirement to its fullest.

One way to boost the ability of the Mediterranean diet's muscling-preserving ability is to take a proper balance of amino acids, like that in Perfect Amino. Amino acids help your body build muscle, which will allow you to remain independent into your 90s and beyond. One study showed that amino acids can help keep muscles strong in people who suffer with glucose intolerance. That's astounding. This means they'll work even better if you eat a healthy diet.

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