The benefits of following a Mediterranean diet are known far and wide. The high fruit and vegetable content in the diet along with olive oil, nuts, and fish, is linked to reducing risks of type 2 diabetes and other physical and mental ailments. But according to a recent study, one other disease that can be kept at bay by following a proper Mediterranean diet is cancer, especially cancer of the skin and colorectal.
According to this study, tomato consumption would decrease tumour number in animals consuming tomatoes, and that this biological effect would be the result of altered skin and plasma metabolomes (small particles in the blood).”
Co-author of the study, Jessica Cooperstone, research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State added that dietary carotenoids, which are responsible for the red colour of the tomatoes, are also found in brightly coloured vegetables such as peppers, could protect against UV light damage.
“Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments,” she revealed, adding, ”foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over the lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases”.
Meanwhile, according to another study presented at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer held in Barcelona, Spain states that a few key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet can also cut the risk of colorectal cancer as well.
Authored by Naomi Fliss Isakov, Ph.D., of the Tel-Aviv Medical Center in Israel and her team, the research involved studying the food frequency, lifestyle, and medical intake of a group 808 people aged between 40 to 70 years, who were not at a high risk of colorectal cancer.
The researchers equalised the Mediterranean diet to an above-average consumption of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, as well as fish and poultry. Additionally, below-median intake of red meat, alcohol, and soft drinks was also considered to be a key component of the diet. A Mediterranean diet was also described as having “a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids”, reports Medical News Today.
Find out all about the Mediterranean diet here.
Feature Image: Healthology Integrated Health Services