Food containing anti-oxidants, wholegrains and vital fatty acids are likely to cut the risk of killer illnesses including heart disease, Alzheimer`s and diabetes, a new study has suggested.
Scientists have found that rather than just a narrow range of foods being responsible for boosting health; the answer was a widely varied diet that might include oily fish, porridge oats and blueberries.
"The key is definitely to introduce these kinds of foods into the diet. It is a very healthy diet and completely proves the point that it is about healthy eating as a whole, not just doing one thing," the Daily Express quoted nutritionist Angela Dowden, as saying.
"It is a lifestyle change instead of tweaks here and there. It could be that it is just one of the foods that is producing these effects but it is much more likely that it is an additive affect of them all contributing," she added.
Results of the study carried out at Antidiabetic Food Centre at Lund University in Sweden have shown that it is multiple rather than just single foods with anti-inflammatory effects that work wonders.
Inger Bjorck of the Antidiabetic Food Centre, who carried out the research, said, "Our purpose was to find out which preventive effect can be obtained on established risk markers by combining food concepts with an expected positive impact on inflammation.
"We hope that these results on healthy subjects will inspire more intense preventive efforts in society."
The study saw 44 healthy but overweight people between the ages of 50 and 75 take part.
They ate foods, which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, a condition that in turn triggers metabolic syndrome that leads to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The results showed that the diet slashed bad cholesterol by 33 per cent, lipids - blood fats - by 14 per cent, blood pressure by 8 per cent and a risk marker for blood clots by 26 per cent.
A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced, while memory and cognitive function were improved.