Beans can help elderly people live longer. An international group of epidemiologists made this discovery after following 785 people aged over 70 for 7 years. The more beans the old people ate each day, the lower their chance of dying.
The researchers were collecting data for the WHO Food Habits in Later Life study. The aim of this study was to confirm the findings of Ancel Keys, who in the sixties carried out the Seven Countries Study: that the healthiest diet is one containing large amounts of whole grains, fruit and vegetables, little red meat, a small amount of dairy produce, little saturated fat but moderate amounts of olive oil, and sufficient chicken, fish and eggs. We now call this diet the Mediterranean diet.
The researchers studied 5 groups of over-seventies in Japan, Sweden, Australia and Greece. You can expect to live to a ripe age if you live in one of these 4 countries – if you eat healthily. [The researchers also studied a group of Australians originally from Greece.]