Experts are calling for dieters to try eating like a Victorian, according to an article on MailOnline.
The mid-Victorian era, between the years of 1850 and 1872, was a “golden age of nutrition”, according to Dr Judith Rowbotham, of the University of Plymouth, who co-authored research with Dr Paul Clayton, of the Institute of Food, Brain and Behaviour.
People alive in this age were healthier, with stronger immune systems, despite eating up to 5,000 calories a day, Dr Rowbotham told MailOnline.
The researchers credit this good health on a vegetable-rich diet, consumption of wholemeal bread which contained yeast that boosts the immune system, drinking less strong alcohol and avoiding sugar.
Dr Rowbotham said: “They ate onions, watercress, cabbage, beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes, apples.
“You could get a huge bunch of watercress for next to nothing – there were watercress trains that came into the cities.
“Cherries were known as a poor man’s fruit. A punnet of cherries, that you would pay £6 for in Marks and Spencer’s these days, you could get then for a ha’penny [a coin the equivalent to half a penny].
She added: “They ate scraps of meat from the bone, boiling the bones to get all the nutrients. And fish like herring, mackerel and cod roes.
She concluded: “A return to Victorian-era nutritional values; home cooking rather than processed food and emphasis on fruit and veg were the things that meant they had a better health expectancy than we had.
“Returning to this could benefit us hugely.”