Women who eat a healthy diet are more likely to be free of physical limitations as they grow older, a new study says.

Published recently in the Journal of Nutrition, the study found that a diet rich in certain foods may prevent age-related decline.

Diets that contained walnuts, oranges, apples, pears, romaine or leaf lettuce and orange juice were linked to staying mobile and otherwise physically able later in life. Meanwhile, higher consumption of sugary drinks, alcohol, sodium and trans fats were tied to a loss of physical function in aging women, the study found.

Physical function is key to healthy aging and a strong predictor of mortality, the study authors wrote.

To reach their conclusions, the Harvard Medical School researchers examined data from a health survey of more than 54,000 women who were tracked for 30 years. The women answered questions about their ability to perform basic living tasks and also about their eating habits.

Although some individual foods fared well in the study, the researchers stressed that it was the quality of the subjects’ overall diet that mattered most.

 

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