Washington: According to a study, following the Mediterranean diet - which includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts - may reduce the risk of frailty in older adults.
The findings suggest that a diet emphasizing primarily on plant-based foods can help keep people healthy and independent as they age.
Frailty is common among older people and its prevalence is increasing as the population ages. Frail older adults may often feel low in energy and have weight loss and weak muscle strength.
Lead study author Kate Walters from the University College London wanted to access how a healthy diet might decrease one's risk of frailty. The team analyzed 5,789 older individuals four France, Spain, Italy, and China.
Dr. Walters stated, "We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail".
The results indicated that the people who followed 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. The investigators noted that the Mediterranean diet may help older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels.
The research appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.