The Mediterranean diet is undoubtedly very healthy as it focuses mainly on vegetables and olive oil with some addition of protein. This is not considered a diet in the Mediterranean and is just a way of living. We already know that Mediterranean cuisine helps to lose weight, but what are the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet? This diet does much more than help you lose weight; we will discuss everything.
What are the health benefits of Mediterranean Cuisine?
You might have seen some Mediterranean diet books but were still determining if you were ready to convert. But you do not need to wonder anymore after knowing these 5 surprising health benefits of a mainly Mediterranean diet.
Reduce the chance of heart disease
One of the most important benefits of a Mediterranean diet plan is a reduction in the chances of various heart diseases, mainly heart attacks and stroke. Many studies were conducted to reach this conclusion, so you know this is not just an assumption.
One of the most important studies done is the PREDIMED study in Spain. This was an observational study where a group of people were followed for 5 years. These people did not have heart diseases but were a high-risk group and were given two Mediterranean diets, one with olive oil and one with nuts as the main focus, and one control diet, which was just a regular diet. It was observed that participants who ate the calorie-unrestricted Mediterranean diet with supplemented olive oil or nuts had about a 30 percent lower risk of heart events. These participants were not told to exercise either.
The Mediterranean diet especially helps women prevent stroke compared to men. This was observed in another study conducted in the United Kingdom, but it is still unknown why. A Mediterranean diet menu also reduces the severity of strokes.
Reduce the chance of type 2 diabetes
The diet is not low-carb; the carbs come from whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and Greek yogurt. This type of glycemic carbs helps control the blood glucose level in individuals. Not to mention, the Mediterranean diet plan includes lots of olive oil, and this oil is also linked to achieving healthier blood sugar levels.
This diet prevents a spike in blood sugar levels in your body. A scientific study also proves this fact. People were followed to see if they developed type 2 diabetes, just like in the initial PREDIMED study. They were given three diets, two with a Mediterranean diet and one with a control diet. The individuals with a Mediterranean diet menu had a 52 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes during the four-year follow-up. Even having this diet after developing type 2 diabetes can ward of many complications that you can develop later on in life.
Help to manage autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases develop later in life but result from environmental effects, toxins, and stress. Once you develop an autoimmune disease, it is essential to manage it, which can be done using medicine, but to truly manage it, you need to get rid of the root cause.
Although most autoimmune diseases can be managed by following a Mediterranean diet lunch, dinners, and having Mediterranean diet breakfast ideas, it helps the most in Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks joints, thinking they are foreign objects in your body, causing pain and swelling around the joints.
A critical part of a Mediterranean diet is long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish that relieve the symptoms. But that is not it; all the food in the Mediterranean diet helps reduce inflammation, the leading cause of autoimmune diseases.
Reduce the chance of cancer
The Mediterranean diet can help prevent some cancers, although it is not proven. This is because a very wide range of symptoms causes cancer. Still, it is generally known that diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, like this diet, help protect the DNA in your cells from damage that causes cancer.
A study based on breast cancer among women found that eating a Mediterranean diet with a focus on extra virgin oil reduces the risk of breast cancer by 62 percent. But that is not it; the diet also helps in other types of cancers, mainly colorectal, prostate, liver, pancreas, endometrial, head and neck, liver, and bladder cancer. The diet also helps in reducing death in cancer survivors.
Helps with mental health
It is known that a healthy diet helps make you feel better, too, as diet has a great effect on your mental health, and the Mediterranean is a healthy diet. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders can decrease by eating a diet rich in nuts, olives, olive oil, and fish.
A study conducted on the effect of the Mediterranean diet on depression compared to a diet high in processed meats, sugar, and trans fat found that this diet helps. The participants that followed the Mediterranean diet saw a 33 percent reduced risk of depression than the other group. But the reason for the reduction is not clearly stated, but we have an idea. Also, since there is an overlap between the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet for dementia, it helps to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now is the perfect time to rush to the store and buy books on the Mediterranean diet, focusing on the Mediterranean diet for beginners if you are starting. The Mediterranean diet plan is easy to follow and commit to because the food is delicious. And now you also know about the top 5 benefits of this diet.