Here's some new research that shows how eating a combination of different health-promoting foods has a beneficial cumulative effect, and is the key to a long and healthy life. The findings provide more evidence that healthy foods work together and have a synergistic effect on preventing disease and promoting wellness.
The study, by researchers at Lund University found that a healthy diet consisting of multiple foods with anti-inflammatory effects was associated with helping to prevent many chronic diseases.
They looked at the effect that eating a number of anti-inflammatory boosting foods could have on the body, rather than testing them separately.
The diet used in the study reduced blood lipids by 14 percent, bad cholesterol by 33 percent, blood pressure by 8 percent and a risk biomarker for blood clots by 26 percent.
Additionally, the diet also reduced a marker of inflammation in the body and improved memory and cognitive function in the study subjects.
For the study, the researchers used the diet that consisted of foods high in antioxidants, low-GI carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, wholegrain products, probiotics and viscous dietary fiber in 44 healthy yet overweight people ages 50 to 75.
The subjects used for four weeks the diet which was assumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, which in turn would lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
"The results have exceeded our expectations. I would like to claim that there has been no previous study with similar effects on healthy subjects", said the coauthor of the study.
"We believe in the idea of combined effects. Drug or specific products with health claims affect only one or maybe a couple of risk factors.
"By a combination of food you can in a simple and striking way affect many risk parameters simultaneously."
The diet was made of foods including oily fish, barley, soy protein, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar and a certain type of wholegrain bread.
This research suggests there is a beneficial cumulative effect in eating a healthy, varied diet. Nutrients work together with one another to provide health benefits that are far greater than when taken in isolation. Therefore, for maximum health benefits, enrich your diet with a combination of fresh, whole foods. Make sure that the bulk of your diet consists of these healthful foods and limit your intake of fried, heavily processed and refined foods.