Washington: Want to live 15 years longer? New research suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet along with regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight could add 15 years to a woman's life, or 8.5 years to a man's.

A new study published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that these four healthy lifestyle factors significantly cut the risk of premature death, especially in women.

Research from Maastricht University in the Netherlands used data on diet and lifestyle habits of 120,852 men and women aged 55 to 69.

To add years to your life, the researchers recommend adhering to a Mediterranean diet, stopping smoking, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, and maintaining a body mass index between 18.5 and 25.

To try a Mediterranean lifestyle, the US-based Mayo Clinic recommends the following guidelines:

1. Get plenty of exercise
2. Eat primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
3. Replace butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
4. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
5. Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month
6. Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week
7. Drink red wine in moderation (optional)

(Agencies)