You probably must have heard of the Mediterranean diet, but do you actually know the science behind it?
Full of diverse plant-based foods, healthy fats, whole grains, the Mediterranean diet is widely embraced by top medical professionals and experts.
This diet is deeply rooted in the coastal cuisines of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and northern Africa. In January 2019, US News and World Report named it the “best diet overall” for the second year running.
As research uncovers its many health benefits, doctors and medical professionals in United States are increasingly advocating a Mediterranean diet plan.
According to a study by the University of Barcelona, the connection between the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular health was strikingly clear.
Over 7,000 Spanish participants adopted a Mediterranean-style diet rich in healthy fats for nearly five years. Many of them were overweight, smokers or diabetic. After a comprehensive follow-up, researchers observed a sharp improvement in participants’ health.
The results showed an absolute risk reduction of a thirty percent decrease of cardiovascular disease among these high-risk individuals.
Apart from heart diseases, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers, depression, and in older adults, a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.
The traditional plate of Mediterranean diet is nutritionally balanced, diverse, and full of color. It should never feel restrictive. Instead, it’s a refined way of eating defined by plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Also read: Eating habits that can destroy your health
In order to bring the Mediterranean diet to your plate, here are some small changes you can make. Pick one change every week and embrace it gradually. Start with the ones you think will be the easiest.
Food as a communal and shared experience is a big part of the Mediterranean approach. The Mediterranean diet is lifestyle. Enjoy the social component of this diet by sharing meals with family and friends as often as possible, whether it’s a weekend mean or a special occasion.
Slow down and savor each bite. Don’t be afraid to have a glass of wine, but keep it moderate. Even though wine packs antioxidants, you should also drink plenty of water, as staying hydrated keeps your body in function.
The last bit of the equation is to make physical activity a part of your daily routine, let it be biking to work or simply taking a walk during your lunch break to enjoy the fresh air, the key is to keep yourself active.
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