Research conducted on individuals of 65 years and older indicated that subjects who had the highest consumption of fish, vegetable and fruit had a lower risk of death. Moreover, the female subjects were found to benefit more from the consumption of olive oil. According to the findings, the Mediterranean diet was shown to benefit people from various demographics. Prior studies have indicated that it is more beneficial when prepared from fresh produce that has low saturation of fats, meats and added sugar.
The study took place between 1999 and 2010 and the participants involved were aged 65 years and older coming from Dijon (North-East of France), Montpellier (South-East of France) and Bordeaux (South-West of France). Montpellier had cohorts of size 2500; Dijon had 5000 while Bordeaux had 2500. From these, the final sample analyzed was of size 8937.
The participants were asked questions touching on their medical health, lifestyle and dietary habits. The researchers became more specific by asking about socio-demographic status and complaints, blood sampling, neuropsychological testing, body measurements, drug use, alcohol, tobacco and blood pressure.
Examinations in the clinic were done at the beginning of the research and then after 2, 4, 8, and 10 years.

Outcomes of the research

The researchers concluded that constantly taking vegetables and fruits, eating fish on a weekly basis and regularly utilizing olive oil for the women has the positive impact of a longer survival. This was not reliant on the lifestyle, health-related and socio-demographic factors. As a general note by the study, lower mortality rate can be linked to higher diversity to one’s diet.
Numerous studies have in the past tried to investigate the link between vegetables and fruits and survival. The Cancer and Nutrition study done by the European Prospective Investigation linked a plant-based diet to reduced risk of death in southern Europe. One thing to note though is that this study did not associate the low risk with Germany or the UK after all the known risk factors were controlled.
Living healthily in middle age keeps one better placed to have a better physical and mental shape while in old age. Countries all over the world have witnessed a rise in the elderly people population. It is thus in the interest of public health officials to come up with preventive programmes geared towards healthy living.

Relation of life span and fruit and vegetables

The researchers explained that fruit and vegetables have an antioxidant whose role is to determine the balance between free radicals and antioxidants thus increasing one’s life span expectancy.
On top of that, the study cited the impact of having vitamin C, folic acid, carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids in high concentrations.
On the other hand, fish has a protective effect due to its omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects.