The Mediterranean Diet is widely acclaimed as one of the most healthy diets worldwide and is highly recommended by chefs and doctors alike. It has been associated with longevity in several studies and is based on the traditional cuisine of Italy, Greece, Spain, and Israel. The food provides wholesome nourishment to your body and typically consists of the region’s traditional vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. It encourages you to limit your intake of refined bread, processed foods, and red meats. It also includes regular consumption of red wine rather than hard liquors, preventing heart diseases or stroke.
But what makes it more popular than all the other diets? Firstly, the Mediterranean diet is not a “diet” where the end goal is to simply lose weight; it’s about the principles of making long-term healthy choices, such as eating healthy foods and exercising. It’s a lifestyle, a sustainable way of living.
Many of the foods used in the Mediterranean diet have anti-inflammatory properties that are packed with antioxidants. This high level of antioxidants protects your body cells from undergoing any damaging processes, such as oxidative stress. While it prioritizes plant-based foods, it also contains a good balance of healthy foods rich in vitamins, protein, carbs, minerals, fibers, and moderate amounts of essential fat such as Olive oil.
According to the U.S News & World Report, the Mediterranean diet has ranked No.1 in the list of 2019 Best Diets Overall. It cites that this diet type is the “host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control.” The foods consumed following this protocol are also said to reduce mental health problems, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce chronic illnesses like cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders.
Another study conducted on 26,000 women over 12 years found that following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the probability of developing cardiovascular diseases by 25%. It regulates the reduction of systemic inflammation, along with controlling blood glucose level and lessening BMI rate.
Studies show that the Mediterranean diet can effectively improve your memory and thinking capabilities and supply other vital nutrients needed for optimal brain functioning. Thus, it may help decelerate cognitive decline, enhance cognitive skills, and prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
How Do You Eat in the Mediterranean Approach?
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your platter. It is better to include 7-10 servings a day.
- Switch to healthy fats. Add olive oil in place of butter while cooking.
- It is better to add more whole grains to your diet. Opt for various whole grains like cereal, pasta, bread, farro, bulgur, etc.
- Consume more seafood. It is better to eat sea fishes like tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout, and herring at least twice a week.
- Remove Red meat: Instead, have poultry, fish, beans, etc., as a healthy alternative for meat. However, you can add lean and small portions of meat to your meal if you are not ready to let it go completely.
- Eat some healthy dairy products like yogurt or small amounts of various cheese types.
- Add herbs and spices to your food to add the Mediterranean flavor to it.
So, are you all ready to make a healthy change in your regular diet? Switch to a healthy way of eating and living, and incorporate a regular exercising schedule in your daily routine to stay fit. Also, try out eating with your family while saying cheers to life and happiness with a glass of red wine.
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