A Mediterranean Diet alters the gut microbiome significantly and promotes healthier ageing, longevity, lowered inflammation, better bone strength, better cognitive function and memory.
A Rainbow diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, fish, whole grains and good fats can restore and regenerate the balance of the microbiome to promote good health. This five country European study (1) was led by Paul O’Toole, head of the School of Microbiology in the University of Cork, Ireland.
612 volunteers, all between 65 and 79 years of age adopted a typical Rainbow Diet for a full year. Analysis of the microbiome populations showed an increase in ‘good’ bacteria linked to stronger immune systems, lowered cholesterol, better brain function, stronger bones and a net decrease in ‘bad’ bacteria (pathogens) know to cause inflammation, chronic illness and frailty.
O’Toole said, “We have long known that the Mediterranean Diet full of fresh produce, olive oil and fish rather than meat, was good for you. The diet is linked to less inflammation, less frailty and better cognitive function.”
Researchers were particularly concerned where old people ate less and less. However, those that adhered closest to a Rainbow Diet ate more and clearly benefitted the most.
However, he warned that people who had ‘let themselves go’, might not simply be able to reverse the losses in their microbiome. If strains are extinct, that could be the end of it, whatever diet you employed.