A Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, cereals and fish, could help those with osteoporosis.

According to a study by the University of East Anglia in the UK, a Mediterranean diet could reduce bone loss in people with osteoporosis. The results of the study, which involved more than 1000 people aged between 65 and 79, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“This is a particularly sensitive area for osteoporosis as loss of bone in the femoral neck is often the cause of hip fracture, which is common in elderly people with osteoporosis,” said Susan Fairweather-Tait , a professor at the University of East Anglia.

Bone density was measured at the start and after 12 months. The Mediterranean diet had no discernible impact on participants with normal bone density, but those with osteoporosis saw an improvement.

“Bone takes a long time to form, so the 12-month trial, although one of the longest to date, was still a relatively short time frame to show an impact. So, the fact that we were able to see a marked difference between the groups even in just this one area is significant,” Fairweather-Tait said.

What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a diet followed in Mediterranean countries characterized by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein.  In general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats.

Here are the other benefits of a Mediterranean diet:

  • Protects against Type 2 diabetes
  • Maintains heart health
  • Reduces risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduces risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
  • Aids healthy weight loss