Scientists believe they may have found the secret of why three hundred men and women, a third of the population of Acciaroli, near Salerno in Italy, are alive and healthy at the age of 100: it’s the herb rosemary.
The Mediterranean village is the focus of a major research project centring around the benefits of the herb.
For centuries, rosemary has been taken by people to help boost memory, but in Acciaroli, the herb is used liberally as part of the well-proven ‘med diet’, which includes lots of grilled fish, salads and pasta dishes.
A group of scientists from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of Rome are carrying out a lifestyle and diet study among the village population, who, apart from living longer than most, have very few instances of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Meanwhile, researchers in Toronto say that a diet including three-quarters of a cupful of beans, peas or lentils has been proven to contribute to weight loss and an improvement in health. The project involved 1,000 adults and the team reported their findings in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
They showed that consuming pulses made people feel more full and therefore cut down on overall intake of food. In addition, pulses help to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol which clogs coronary and other arteries.
Sources: The Telegraph, Mail, Guardian, The Independent