Can we stay young thanks to our diet?

In this respect, Japan and Crete, where longevity is the highest, serve as models. Surprisingly, the eating habits of these two regions of the world, although very far apart, have similarities. The Cretans and the Japanese, provided they have kept a traditional diet, eat a lot of green vegetables, legumes and minimally processed cereals. They regularly eat fish, but limit meat and sugar intake.

A balanced fatty acid diet

Why is their diet so virtuous? Because it provides them with fatty acids in the right proportions. Fish and rapeseed or walnut oil in particular contain large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3). However, we know that a ratio of 1 to 5 between omega 3 and omega 6 – in excess in the Western diet – limits the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, allergies and cancer.

The beneficial effect of wine resveratrol remains to be demonstrated

But above all, plenty of vegetables provide fiber and antioxidants. Just like tea among the Japanese, or fruit among the Cretans! Among these antioxidants, vitamins A, E and C, but also polyphenols, zinc and selenium. They are known for their ability to neutralize the action of free radicals. These radicals, by altering the DNA, the walls and other structures of our cells, would participate in aging.

The French diet also contains a powerful antioxidant: resveratrol, contained in wine, grapes, blackberries, peanuts… Does it allow to delay aging? A study showed that this molecule increased longevity by 60 to 80%… in yeast. In humans, we are still at the stage of hypotheses.

According to Science & Vie QR n°19

Read also: Why do we think about food so often? Food is deeply rooted in our cultures. But if these thoughts become too frequent, it could be a sign of stress, too strict a diet or even an eating disorder.


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