Buy wine and benefit for up to a year

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When you buy wine, you might not be thinking as far as tomorrow morning, let alone a year into the future.

But buy wine from the Mediterranean and incorporate it into just eight weeks of a typical Mediterranean lifestyle, and you could be feeling the benefits 12 years from now.

According to researchers at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Lincoln, the typical Mediterranean diet includes wine, moderate red meat consumption, wholegrain foods, fish, legumes, fruit, vegetables, salads and olive oil.

In their study, two groups were asked to begin a moderate exercise regime, but only one coupled this with a switch to the typical Mediterranean diet outlined above.

They were allowed to stop this lifestyle change after eight weeks - but even a year later, the group that adopted the diet as well as the exercise showed signs of greater benefits than the exercise-only group.

Significantly, they had improved blood flow in the inner lining of their blood vessels, which can in turn help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Lead researcher Dr Markos Klonizakis of Sheffield Hallam said: "Considering the scientific evidence already out there that a Mediterranean diet offers health benefits, it made sense to examine how such a diet, when combined with exercise, could affect the small veins of our body."