What Is A Mediterranean Diet?
A Mediterranean diet mainly comprises of the region’s traditional, vegetables, fruits and beans, seafood, olive oil, nuts, and dairy. These are the kinds of foods that the inhabitants of Greece, Crete, and southern Italy mostly had. These inhabitants have the lowest rates of chronic disease in the entire world with the highest life expectancy.
Additionally, these people also had the lowest medical services available at that time. A real Mediterranean diet is all about having the right set of food to enrich your body. It is much more than eating wholesome food or having fruits and vegetables. Sharing meals with people and engaging in adequate physical activity are important elements of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.
The diet is known to have a very big impact on your mental health and mood alike. However, it is a known fact that making any changes in your diet can be very tough. It becomes tougher when you try to avoid takeout food and processed foods. But the Mediterranean diet can be a satisfying, very healthy, and inexpensive way to eat. Making a change from pasta and pepperoni to fish and salads cannot be easy.
However, remember that a Mediterranean diet is the best way to stay fit and healthy. A great way to lose extra weight and maintain your shape. So what is included in the Mediterranean diet that is so popular these days? The diet mainly consists of dairy products, fish, eggs, and poultry in moderate amounts. Additionally, they also include vegetables, fruits, grains, potatoes, seeds, nut, beans, and olive oil for a fat source.
Health Benefits Of Mediterranean Diet
A traditional Mediterranean Diet mainly comprises of huge quantities of vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, nuts, and olive oil along with a high amount of physical activity, known to reduce your risk of serious physical and mental health problems too.
- Prevents Strokes and Heart Diseases: Having a Mediterranean diet lowers your intake of processed food, refined bread, red meat, and encourages people to intake red wine instead of liquor. All these factors prove crucial in preventing strokes and other heart-related diseases.
- Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s: Multiple studies have proved that following a Mediterranean diet is known to improve blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and overall blood vessel health, also reduces your chances of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Keeps you Fit and Active: If you are an adult aged above 50, the nutrients that you receive in the Mediterranean diet is known to reduce the risk of muscle weakness. It additionally reduces your other signs of fragility close to 70 percent.
- Reduces the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: The Mediterranean diet has a high level of antioxidants, which prevents cells from a damaging process, which is called oxidative stress, lowering your chances of getting Parkinson’s disease incredibly.
- Protects against Type 2 Diabetes: A Mediterranean diet is very rich in fiber. The fiber is known to digest slowly and prevents changes in the blood sugar levels. Additionally, it also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Protects against various deadly diseases: The Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on plant-based diets, which makes them high on antioxidants. Multiple studies reveal that a Mediterranean diet prevents or reduces the risk of various cancers, mainly colorectal cancer. The low risk of these diseases is due to the high intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The high fiber and antioxidants are great for physical and mental health.
What are the ingredients used in a Mediterranean diet?
Fruits: A variety of fruits are included in the Mediterranean diet which comprises of apricots, oranges, apples, melon, lemons, and so on.
Vegetables: Several vegetables constitute in this list that comprises of cucumber, zucchini, green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and many others.
- Legumes: Legumes mainly consist of chickpeas, beans, and lentils.
- Seeds and Nuts: These comprise of walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds.
- Dairy products: Dairy products consist of yogurt and cheese.
- Cereals: These mainly include wheat and rice, along with the bread in a majority of meals.
- Unsaturated Fat: Olives, Olive oil, sunflower, and avocados.
- Fish: These include oysters, shellfish, sardines, and multiple other kinds of fish.
- Eggs: Eggs include duck eggs, chicken eggs, and quail eggs.
- Poultry: Turkey and chicken are the two types of poultry constitute in a Mediterranean diet.
- Drinks: Drinks only include red wine and that too in moderation.
Since the Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on plant-based food and fresh produce, they offer multiple essential nutrients and vitamins. The Mediterranean diet is high in mono-saturated fat and low in saturated fat. It is always a great healthy option to limit or reduce the intake of saturated fats to avoid obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet is high in fiber because of the high intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Fiber is known to reduce the risk of bowel cancer and promote healthy digestion. Studies have also shown that it helps to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Mediterranean diet is also known as a wholesome diet that provides your body with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Ample amounts of fruits and vegetables boost your body with essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body. Lean meat provides the body with vitamin B12, which can be in fewer amounts in a plant-based diet.
Additionally, the diet includes antioxidants like vitamins, minerals, and other important molecules that remove toxic molecules or free radicals from the body. Free radicals are also known as toxic molecules that build up in the body due to various processes or due to metabolism. This build-up can be extremely dangerous and can lead to cancers and other deadly diseases. Dietary antioxidants are known to remove these free radicals from your body and protect it.
Fresh fruits have natural sugar in them. However, they are known to low in quantities. Added sugar can prove fatal to our body, and fresh fruits do not contain added sugar, protecting you from the risk of sugar. Added sugar is known to increase the risk of obesity since they are high in calories.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the intake of sugar to 9 teaspoons per day for males and six teaspoons per day for females, equating to 36g and 24g, respectively. When you follow a Mediterranean diet, you only include fruits and avoid desserts or any other kind of sugary items
Why is the Mediterranean Diet so healthy?
A Mediterranean diet brings the required punch and strength to anyone who wishes to lose weight. It is a diet that is very beneficial for those who deal with obesity issues. The diet has the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other elements those required for the healthy functioning of the body. Additionally, the diet protects you from other diseases, which can be deadly enough.
Though multiple other diets are doing the rounds on the internet, the results of the Mediterranean diet are amazing and are famous worldwide. The diet is high in antioxidants and provides anti-inflammatory properties. Since they are a great source of fiber, it keeps you full for a longer period, which helps in losing weight.
The best part of switching over to a Mediterranean diet is that it reduces the risk of various types of cancers, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. The diet also boosts better executive function and memory function. Multiple studies have also shown that people who follow a Mediterranean diet may have a longer life, along with a better quality of life.
Mediterranean diet lowers the chances of moving into type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and high cholesterol. The diet contains superfoods and a combination of healthy, rich foods for one and all. There are a lot of interesting Mediterranean recipes that you can find online to make the process exciting. Try different recipes each day and explore the real side of Mediterranean food. All you need to do is make simple changes in your diet.
Include more of rich and healthy fruits. Indulge in fruits as snacks. They will keep you full for a longer period. Additionally, it will also make you fit and help maintain your weight.