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Health and Fitness News

Why Go Mediterranean?

Seven benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet is more than a diet. It’s a lifestyle and way of eating that’s been recognized for decades as a path to health, wellness, and weight loss. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Spain, and Greece are known for their traditional eating habits that emphasize seasonal, fresh, and local foods. The diet from the Mediterranean region encourages plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and nuts; a moderate amount of poultry and fish; a small amount of dairy products, red meat, and processed meats; and little to no sweets. As an added perk, wine is often paired with meals.

The Mediterranean way of life encourages enjoyment of food, the social aspect of meals, and an active lifestyle. But what is it about the Mediterranean diet that makes it so popular? For many, seven amazing health benefits make the Mediterranan diet irresistible.

1: Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Numerous studies reveal the powerful effect that the Mediterranean diet has on heart health. Those at high risk for heart disease who follow the diet see a drastic improvement in risk factors. Eating more healthy fats, red wine, and fish, while consuming less red meat, added sugars, and refined grains can do wonders for your circulatory and vascular system.

2: Aid in Weight Loss

Those looking for a successful way to lose weight and keep it off should consider the Mediterranean diet. You won’t see fast weight loss, but the diet is one you can continue the rest of your life. This means the weight you lose can be sustained long term, unlike many fad diets. With the Mediterranean diet, there’s no calorie counting, just a new way of looking at food and wellness. You’ll learn to enjoy more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, and you’ll lose weight in the process.

3: Prevent or Manage Type 2 Diabetes

When followed closely, the Mediterranean diet can fend off or help control diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Managing blood sugar is easier when you limit foods that lead to spikes (sweets and refined grains) and eat more foods high in fiber that keep blood sugar stable (fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains). Since the Mediterranean does just that, it’s a great way to control or avoid diabetes without medication.

4: Ward Off Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease don’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. The nutrients supplied by the Mediterranean diet are known to help support brain health to keep your brain at peak performance. When the vascular system is healthy, oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the brain, where they work to promote cognitive function.

5: Protect You from Cancer

Eating a healthy diet like the Mediterranean is one way to help prevent certain kinds of cancer. When you eat more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains, you reduce your risk of colorectal and breast cancer. Consuming less red meat and you’ll further lower your chances of developing colorectal cancer. And as you lose weight, your risk for a variety of cancers continues to drop.

6: Lower Risk of Depression

Believe it or not, the foods you eat affect your mental and physical health. That’s right! You can relieve the symptoms of depression by eating the right foods? Studies prove that eliminating inflammation-causing foods may reduce your risk of depression. That means sweets, partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils, refined carbs, and processed meats have to go. Thankfully, that’s what the Mediterranean diet requires.

7: Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis

A painful autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occurs when the immune system attacks the joints. Eating foods that help fight chronic inflammation like nuts, olive oil, tomatoes, and fatty fish, and avoiding those that cause inflammation is one way to relieve the pain associated with the disease. With the Mediterranean diet, you do just that. The end result? Relief from painful, aching joints!