A Mediterranean diet refers to nutritionally balanced, diverse plant based, full of flavor and texture rich food.
Mediterranean diet is a way of eating mostly plant foods. It include vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil. This diet accommodates fish and poultry as a sources of protein over red meat. It also features red wine which is consumed in moderate amounts. Various scientific studies states that there are many benefits of following this diet. Some of them are improve in weight loss, better control of blood glucose levels and reduction in risk of depression, heart attack, stroke etc.
We will discuss the key components of Mediterranean diet and its health benefits in this article.
The key components of Mediterranean diet are:
- Eating mostly plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
- Switching butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil.
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month.
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week (preferably over red meat).
- Drinking red wine in moderation.
The health benefits of Mediterranean diet are:
- Improves cardiovascular health – Mediterranean diet is capable of reducing the risk of heart disease. It has lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. An excess of LDL can build up deposits in arteries which is prevented here.
- Reduce risk of cancer – It is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Also women on this diet with extra-virgin olive oil and nuts have less risk of breast cancer.
- Significant weight loss – Weight loss in this case results from eating more plant-based foods while curbing sugar and red meat. Also, high-fiber content of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes keeps one feel fuller for long time period. This in turn reduce the chance of overeating.
- For Diabetes – Among people with type-2 diabetes, this diet helps to lower blood glucose levels. While it promotes good HDL – High density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- Improves brain health – Studies have shown a positive link between the Mediterranean diet and its long term brain health benefits among people of all age groups.
- Maintain muscle strength – It reduces the risk of developing muscle weakness or other indications of increasing frailty. In fact, seniors have shown this risk reduced by up to 70 per cent. In old age, this diet ensure lasting agility.
- Fights inflammation – A high concentration of antioxidants can reduce the inflammation bio-markers. It controls inflammation within the body. Also, it prevent conditions that may arise from chronic inflammation.
- Makes skin healthy – Mediterranean diet can help you get glowing, radiant skin. This diet encourages tons of olive oil, which is full of vitamin E and antioxidants. Both of them work to hydrate and nourish skin. Red wine contains resveratrol, which can even inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
- Relive pain – Magnesium-rich and high-fiber fruits and vegetables, can reduce chronic pain situations. Foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish and whole grains are part of this diet.
- Improve fertility – This diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, and whole grains can increase fertility. This diet is recommended for women who are hoping to conceive. Men can also benefit from consuming more antioxidant rich foods like mangoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. This can help men to develop healthier sperm.
Therefore a Mediterranean rich diet has benefits for all sphere of health. It is easy to switch to this diet plan as it is nonrestrictive and quite flexible. This diet is as effective as any vegetarian diet. The mix of various types of food rich in different nutrients is the key benefit of this diet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all can be planned according to this diet. Different recipes are there in Mediterranean culture hosting this diet. You can involve these recipes in your dietary routine. Further, you can make your own recipes based on this diet as per your taste. Mediterranean diet is rich in multiple nutrients. As well as it enhances flavor and taste of the food.
You can start this diet for your better health and improved longevity. It can serve for all age groups. This is proving to be a boon to food and health science. Also, it is an easy step towards good health. Without any delay, you should move to this healthy habit. With regular exercise, you can make most use of this diet.