The impact of nutrition and lifestyle modification on health

  • Lèlita Santos
    Correspondence
    Correspondance to: Internal Medicine Service, Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Coimbra, Portugal.
    Affiliations
    Internal Medicine Service, Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Coimbra, Portugal

    Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal

    CIMAGO Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal
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Published:October 17, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2021.09.020

      Highlights

      • Lifestyle modifications could change the development and natural history of chronic diseases.
      • Nutrition is one of the leading lifestyle modification factors with an impact on health.
      • A healthy considered diet could reduce cardiovascular risk and increase life expectancy mainly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
      • Future studies are needed to support nutrition modifications further.

      Abstract

      The main recommendations from public health entities include healthy diets and physical activity as the main lifestyle factors impacting the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, and even neurological diseases.
      Randomized clinical trials have been designed to demonstrate those lifestyle modifications can change the pattern of chronic diseases development and progression. Among these, nutrition is one of the most impacting factors. Therefore, nutrition and diets were also included in different randomized clinical trials, and most of them showed a favorable impact of nutrition modification on the participant's health. Nevertheless, study designs were considerably different, and future studies are needed to support nutrition modifications further.
      The choice of a healthy considered diet, like the Mediterranean diet, was shown to impact chronic diseases, cardiovascular risk, and adult life expectancy mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Furthermore, a high intake of fibers, fruits, and vegetables together with a low intake of fat and energy-dense, processed foods contribute to an inflammation reduction and a more robust immune system leading. Besides these well-known properties, all lifestyle modifications must be personalized according to the availability of foods, geographic localizations, and the healthy status of the patient.

      Keywords

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