A true Mediterranean diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, garlic, seafood, olive oil, lemon juices, and hearty grains can help fight against diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline. This type of diet can help you live a longer and healthier life, while also having the benefit of being delicious. Here are some specific health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet.
When paired with regular exercise, a traditional Mediterranean diet can:
Protect against type 2 diabetes. Mediterranean food is rich in fiber, which helps to slow down digestion and prevent swings in blood sugar.
Prevent heart disease and strokes. One of the health benefits of garlic is that it helps to reduce cholesterol, which may lead to a lower risk of heart disease.
Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that olive oil has beneficial effects on brain function, including the prevention of buildup of plaque in the brain cells that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
Help with weight loss. A lot of the ingredients used in Mediterranean food, especially the lemon juices, help with weight loss. Lemon has been shown to reduce body weight.
Reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Mediterranean food has high levels of antioxidants, which helps to prevent cells from undergoing oxidative stress, which helps to cut the risk of Parkinson’s disease by about 50%.
Increase longevity. With the reduction in all of these health ailments, following a Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of death by 20% at any age.
How to Switch to a Mediterranean Diet
If you feel overwhelmed about the thought of changing how you eat, here are some helpful tips and dish ideas to get you started.
Eat plenty of vegetables. You can do this at home with an easy plate of sliced vegetables with some feta cheese, or you can try some traditional dishes such as Baba Ghanouj or Falafels.
Eat seafood every week. Fish such as halibut is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which has benefits for both brain and heart health. Try the Halibut Arabiata for a flavorful dish with great health benefits.
Eat a vegetarian meal once a week. Pick one or two nights each week and leave out the meat for your dinner. Dishes such as the Vegetarian Meza Platter or Tabouleh are popular choices for vegetarian meals.
Choose your drinks wisely. Rather than reaching for liquor drinks or multiple glasses of wine each night, opt for some healthy teas to go with your dinner. Some popular herbal teas are Jasmine Green, Ceylon, Apricot, and Passion Fruit.
Eating a Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, it is also filling and flavorful. Try some new dishes or pick an old favorite and enjoy a great tasting and healthy meal.