As if you needed another reason – there is more good health news about living in Spain. That is, if you go native where food is concerned.
A new study, recently presented at a major cancer conference, maintains that the Mediterranean diet may help prevent breast cancer from returning.
The Italian study, presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, followed a group of 307 women who had been treated for early breast cancer.
A group of 199 women were put on a Mediterranean diet. They ate four portions of veg, three pieces of fruit and a serving of grains each day. Plus, they ate at least four servings of fish a week, a small amount of red and processed meat and plenty of olive oil. They were allowed only one alcoholic drink a day.
The rest of the women were given advice on healthy eating by a dietitian and followed a healthy eating plan.
After three years, researchers found 11 women in the healthy eating group had suffered a return of their cancer, while none of the women in the Mediterranean diet group had.
The study is too small to be decisive, and it is not known if eating any particular food or leaving any particular food out makes a difference. However, experts at the conference have agreed that diet and lifestyle do play a part.
Preventing a return of breast cancer is not the only health benefit that has been linked with a Mediterranean diet.