May 31/Barcelona/European Journal of Clinical Nutrition-- While the Mediterranean diet has been established as good for the heart and body, a new study has found it is also good for the soul.

Published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found that a diet based on fish, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts is positively linked to mental health and quality of life.

For their research, Spanish scientists tracked the lives of more than 11,000 university students over four years. Details on dietary intake of the participants were taken at the beginning of the study and self-perceived quality of life was measured after the four-year monitoring period.

The results showed that those who stuck to a more Mediterranean diet scored higher on the quality of life questionnaire in categories of physical and mental well-being, compared to those who followed non-Mediterranean diets.

Meanwhile, a Swedish review of four studies last year concluded that a diet rich in vegetables and fish can also lengthen a person's lifespan by two to three years.

 From the May 31, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News