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Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits
What Is The Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets, acclaimed for its various health benefits. It is based on Mediterranean food and doesn’t restrict you from eating but instead emphasizes eating certain foods.
Ideally, you should include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and other legumes, along with nuts, herbs, and spices. Since it is a plant-based diet, animal proteins are usually included in smaller portions with more emphasis on fish and seafood, which are rich in protein. Mediterranean diet food list also includes olive oil in rich quantities instead of fatty vegetable oil or butter. The Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits are vast, but what exactly are they?
Health Benefits of Adopting A Mediterranean Diet
There are countless Mediterranean diet health benefits; we will be discussing some of the most common health benefits below:
1.) Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Studies show that adopting a Mediterranean diet may help prevent incidents of cardiovascular diseases or heart diseases among individuals. One particular study uncovered that out of nearly 24000 individuals, those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a significantly lower association with cardiovascular disease incidence. Another published paper proved that adopting a Mediterranean diet may help prevent coronary heart disease, particularly among the elderly.
2.) Combats Cognitive Decline
Besides protecting you against the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a Mediterranean diet may also help reduce the chances of developing cognitive impairment. There is significant research available that proves that adopting a Mediterranean diet may help lower the risk of cognitive decline and dementia among individuals.
These results have been linked to the essential components found in any Mediterranean diet, including MUFA (mono-saturated fatty acids) from olive oil, cereals, and wine that provide several antioxidants, supplements, anti-inflammatory agents, and other micronutrients that can lead to protection against cognitive decline. Next time you are finalizing your Mediterranean diet shopping list, it’s best to include extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for better health benefits.
3.) Helps Adopt Healthier Weight
Mediterranean diet for weight loss is one of the most discussed benefits of Mediterranean diet. Adopting a Mediterranean diet may also help promote weight loss. However, keep in mind that this diet isn’t just about adhering to a strict code of food intake. Daily physical activity is also a large part of this diet, without which it can’t be as effective.
A study published by the Harvard Medical School uncovered that out of 998 overweight individuals, those who adopted the Mediterranean diet as opposed to a low-fat diet lost between 9 to 22 pounds on average after a year.
4.) Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common progressive neurologic disorders that can disable your memory skills and lead to cognitive decline. However, adopting a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals.
Research carried out in 2018 compared individuals who relied on a Mediterranean diet to those who relied on a western diet. The study, which was repeated after 2 years, uncovered that individuals who consumed a western diet had developed more beta-amyloid deposits (a protein found in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s) and had lower energy use compared to those who had relied on a Mediterranean diet. The research deduced that those who ate a Mediterranean diet for many years might delay the progression of Alzheimer’s by as much as 3 ½ years.
5.) Helps Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a similar progressive neurologic disorder that leads to the degeneration of your nerve cells in the brain, often leading to difficulty in coordination, control, balance, walking, and talking over time. Research now shows that individuals who adopt a Mediterranean diet may have a delayed onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Another study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health uncovered that out of 47,600 participants, those who relied on a Mediterranean-style diet were less likely to develop multiple early Parkinson’s disease symptoms over 20 years.
6.) Helps Prevent and Manage Type 2 Diabetes
There is enough evidence to suggest that a Mediterranean diet (including whole grains and vegetables, healthy fat and protein, and lots of exercise) can help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. Research shows that the adoption of a Mediterranean diet may help reduce the incidents of type 2 diabetes. Another study published in 2020 showed that adopting a Mediterranean-style diet was linked with a lower risk of diabetes in a community based in the US.
7.) Helps Control Irregular Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Another major health benefit of a Mediterranean diet is a reduction in blood pressure incidence. Research has also linked the adoption of a Mediterranean diet to a favorable effect on the risk of hypertension, usually accompanied by high blood pressure and a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Another research proved that traditional Mediterranean diet recipes may help reduce the level of LDL cholesterol levels and, in turn, protect you against cardiovascular diseases.
8.) May Protect You against Cancer
Another surprising benefit of adopting a Mediterranean diet is protection against cancer. Since the Mediterranean diet, in general, is formed from a combination of foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, it has an inverse relationship with cancer development.
A 2008 study reported that out of 25,623 participants, individuals who relied on a traditional Mediterranean diet more closely had up to a 12% decrease in cancer incidence. Moreover, this lowered incidence was stronger among women.
9.) Helps Relieve Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that leads to the inflammation and stiffness of your joints. Research now shows that adopting a Mediterranean diet may help prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, although we still require more long-term research to back up this claim.
10.) Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits also Lowers Depression
Studies have also been carried out to see if there is any association between adopting a Mediterranean-style diet and symptoms of depression, and results seem to affirm this claim.
A study published in 2021 showed that out of 49,261 Swedish women, those with a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet had a reduced risk of depression. A similar study carried out on young males uncovered that out of 72 participants, those who adopted a Mediterranean diet had a reduced risk of depression.
Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits Conclusion
Is the Mediterranean diet healthy? Well, now you know the Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits. In short, the Mediterranean diet is an excellent choice if you want to enjoy healthy food benefits.
Our Hand Picked EVOOs and Vinegars for the Mediterranean Diet