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What is the Mediterranean Diet? Why is it good for you?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek philosopher-cum physician had advised his people, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. The most sensible and sincerest application of his wisdom, today, is to be found in your bites of Mediterranean meal. However, the bounteous goodness of Mediterranean diet lies beyond the confines of your plate. With its myriad health benefits, it entails a whole style of healthy living, inspired by the healthy country-side inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin of the 1940s and 1950s.

Mediterranean Diet, “Intangible heritage of humanity”

The UNESCO, in the year 2013, listed the Mediterranean diet as an “intangible heritage of humanity in Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Portugal”.

"What is the Mediterranean Diet? Why is it good for you?"

This means that the foundation of the Mediterranean diet seeks to foster the spirit of community living. It inspires you to eat more with your family and community, talking together, laughing together. This is how the healthy Mediterranean enjoyed food in the past.

Components of the Mediterranean Diet

Though the Mediterranean diet bears regional variations, it is underlined by certain common features:

Generous spattering of olive oil, fresh vegetables, unrefined cereals, legumes and nuts and fruits for desserts or snacks

Moderate consumption of Seafood, fish, cheese and red wine

Low intakes of red meat, eggs and sweets

     

Myriad Health Benefits

Scientists and food experts have found several health benefits attributable to the Mediterranean diet.

Wards off Heart Strokes & Attacks

The findings of a large and vigorous study published by The New England Journal of Medicine’s Web asserts that 30 per cent of deaths due to heart ailments, strokes and attacks are preventable if people at high risk adopt the Mediterranean diet.

The ethanol contained in wine, the low presence of saturated fat, and the high content monounsaturated fats in olive oil and nuts, and, dietary fibers of vegetables are extremely beneficial for your heart.

Good for the Brain

The Mediterranean diet is also a boon for the brain. Neurological researches have found that ardent eaters of the Mediterranean diet are less likely to suffer from loss of brain volume, caused by ageing. If you are regular with the Mediterranean diet, you would have lower brain shrinkage, experience lesser cognitive decline, and will have better protection against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Promotes Longevity

The unique set of nutritional properties found in the Mediterranean diet promotes longevity in people. Food scientists have established an association between longer telomeres and the Mediterranean diet. Telomeres are the protective structures at the end of your chromosomes, whose size reduction cause age-related chronic diseases and reduced life expectancy. Hence, the more you consume the Mediterranean diet, the sharper and healthier your brain will stay.

Prevention from other Maladies

Nowadays, aailments such as hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure are commonly seen among people. In case, you suffer from any of these maladies, a switch over to the Mediterranean diet will be supremely beneficial.

Embrace the Mediterranean Diet – Live Long, Live Healthy

Understanding the Mediterranean diet draws our minds towards a healthier approach for diet and an overall living.

For your overall wellness, embrace it. Exercise well, have the healthy juices of luscious fruits and vegetables drained your veins and the healthy nuts nurture your brains. With them, you’re bound to be healthy and disease free.

 

Mitravinda is a Nutritionist at DietChart with a doctoral degree in Food Science and Nutrition. She’s an expert in writing blogs on various nutrition-related topics such as high protein vegetarian foods, diet chart for weight loss, and diet chart for weight loss in 7 days, etc. Through her blogs, she wishes to help people gain a deeper understanding about the relationship between food, nutrition, lifestyle and health. 

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