The nutrients range of Nordic diets is associated with better physical performance and a decrease in disability risk later in life, a study confirms. Along with the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic approach to food has long been held up as a blueprint for healthy eating and nutrition. The diet is rich in foods including apples and berries, roots and cabbages, rye, oats and barley, low-fat milk products, rapeseed oil and fish.
The study enrolled 1072 participants from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Dietary intake information was collected using a Food Frequency Questionnaire, within which subjects reported how often each item was consumed over the previous 12 months. At the mean age of 71 years, participants’ physical performance was measured using the Senior Fitness Test, and an overall score was calculated. Physical activities involved include a 6-min walk test, arm curl and chair stand. Researchers noted “The dietary patterns associated significantly with better overall physical performance were higher intakes of fruits, berries and cereals, which all are linked with reduced oxidative stress and inflammation.”