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Mediterranean foods "boost health"

Eating a diet rich in Mediterranean-style foods can help people lead longer lives, a new study suggests.

The National Cancer Institute in Maryland examined data from more than 300,000 men and women, and found those who ate lots of fruit, vegetables, fresh fish and whole grains lived longer.

The scientists looked at how the subjects conformed to a Mediterranean diet during the five-year trial.

Of the 380,296 people involved, 12,105 died five years later, including 5,985 from cancer and 3,451 from cardiovascular disease.

But those people with higher Mediterranean diet scores were less likely to die from any cause, including cancer or heart disease.

The study, which is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, comes after another major report earlier in the year which found a diet rich in Mediterranean foods can cut the risk of serious lung disease by 50%.

Another study published in the journal Thorax back in April also suggested that children raised on Mediterranean foods are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

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Journal of the American Medical Association