Fresh vegetables and olive oil Fresh vegetables and olive oil The Mediterranean diet celebrates fresh vegetables and healthy fats for a tasty, sustainable lifestyle. (Photo: thieury/Shutterstock)

Study shows additional benefit of Mediterranean diet

Women who eat healthy can reduce their risk of uterine cancer by more than half.

New research shows that women who stick closely to a Mediterranean diet can cut their chances of developing uterine cancer by more than half.

The study, conducted by a team of Italian and Swiss researchers between 1983 and 2006 in various Italian areas and in the Swiss Canton of Vaud, analyzed the diets of 5,000 women to see how closely they stuck to the Mediterranean diet and whether they went on to develop uterine cancer.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, protein-packed fish, olive oil, nuts, and fruits, while reducing the intake of salt, meat, dairy and alcohol.

Assorted superfoodsFresh produce, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are all staples of the Mediterranean diet. (Photo: marilyn barbone/Shutterstock)

The study cut down the diet into nine different components and measured how closely women stuck to them. Those who featured between seven and nine of the components in their diet lowered their risk of endometrial cancer by 57%. Those who featured six components cut their risk by 46%, while those who stuck to five reduced their risk by 34%.

Women whose diets included fewer than five components did not lower their risk significantly, according to the study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer of the uterus is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs and about 54,870 new cases will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. alone.

Prior studies have shown that sticking to a strict Mediterranean diet can have other positive health benefits, reducing the risk of everything from heart disease to Alzheimer's.

If all this food for thought has you wanting to take action right away, the team at From The Grapevine has already compiled a complete Mediterranean menu to help you get started. Want even more? Our resident chefs Miriam Kresh and Sarah F. Berkowitz have lots of tasty recipes in our Israeli kitchen.

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