You may have heard that the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, but what does the science say about its potential benefits? Decades of research have shown that following the Mediterranean diet can help us live a longer, healthier life. If you are wondering why, keep reading.
Mediterranean diet It is based on the traditional cuisine of Italy, Greece and other countries bordering the Mediterranean. It’s a primarily vegan approach, with animal favorite protein Being fish and seafood. The Mediterranean diet is rich in whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs and spices. It also encourages a moderate intake of red wine and a reduction in processed foods.
Here, we’ve rounded up seven scientifically backed benefits of the Mediterranean diet. And if after reading this article you decide to try this diet, be sure to check out our site mediterranean diet plan For helpful tips and advice.
1. It may help you live longer
The Mediterranean diet could be one of the keys to the longevity of centenarians and slow aging. many studies (Opens in a new tab) It showed that elderly individuals who follow this diet are more likely to live longer.
There is also evidence that a Mediterranean diet can help older adults maintain their strength and mobility. Asthenia is a syndrome that combines the effects of normal aging with the consequences of multiple chronic diseases and a loss of physical fitness. It can significantly affect the quality of life in old age. According to a meta-analysis published in Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging (Opens in a new tab)higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of frailty.
2. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
The most widely known – and most well-researched – benefit of the Mediterranean diet is its effect on cardiovascular health. This can be attributed in part to its effect on the endothelium: the cells that line blood vessels from the inside. According to a review published in Nutrition Journal (Opens in a new tab)Mediterranean diets help improve endothelial function, which in turn prevents the buildup of cholesterol plaques in the arteries.
multiple studies (Opens in a new tab) showed that this dietary pattern may specifically protect against coronary heart disease and stroke. There is, too Evidence (Opens in a new tab) It can reduce the risk of heart failure.
3. May prevent cognitive decline and dementia
Improving brain health in old age is another potential benefit of the Mediterranean diet. many studies (Opens in a new tab) They show how this dietary pattern can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline in healthy older adults. Furthermore, there is convincing evidence that Mediterranean diets may help prevent Alzheimer’s diseaseas shown in Journal of Clinical Medicine (Opens in a new tab). In Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal proteins called amyloids form plaques that disrupt communication between them nervous cells. That’s why they are used as biomarkers for this serious condition.
4. Helps you lose weight
The Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, but it can also help you lose weight. a Calorie deficiency It is the most important principle behind weight maintenance, and it is normal for the Mediterranean diet to include many foods that are low in calories.
2020 PREDIMED-Plus Study (Opens in a new tab) Follow 6,355 overweight participants on their weight loss journey. The researchers found that those who adhered to the Mediterranean diet also scored the best weight loss results. Evidence also shows that this dietary pattern may be a great strategy for maintaining body weight. According to a study published in British Journal of Nutrition (Opens in a new tab)Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a twofold increase in the likelihood of long-term weight maintenance. If you want to try it out for yourself, be sure to check out our guide on mediterranean diet for weight loss.
5. May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
One of the lesser known benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it may help with prevention and management Type 2 diabetes. As shown in Nutrients (Opens in a new tab) Journal, there are several ways this dietary pattern can improve blood glucose levels, including its high levels of anti-inflammatories. AntioxidantsLow glycemic index (GI) foods are better gut health. According to a meta-analysis published in Advances in Nutrition (Opens in a new tab) Journal, even modest adherence to a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
6. May prevent cancer
according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Opens in a new tab)One in 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer is also the second most common cause of death in the United States today. Despite the presence of many cancers and contributing factors, healthy nutrition consistently remains a major preventive strategy. Several studies specifically point to the Mediterranean diet as a way to avoid these serious diseases.
According to a review published in European Journal of Nutrition (Opens in a new tab), higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of death from cancer. It also significantly reduces the risk of colorectal, head and neck, respiratory, stomach, liver and bladder cancers.
7. May help treat rheumatoid arthritis
The Mediterranean diet can also bring benefits to those who suffer from it Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition characterized by severe joint pain and stiffness, for which there is no known cure.
A key feature of this disease is a high level of eicosanoids: compounds that promote inflammation. multiple studies (Opens in a new tab) showed that anti-inflammatory diets, including vegetarian and Mediterranean dietary patterns, are an effective way to reduce eicosanoid production and associated joint pain. According to scientists from International Rheumatology (Opens in a new tab) In the journal, the Mediterranean diet can also help increase physical function in people with this condition.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.