Healthy nutrition is hugely important. Leading a healthy lifestyle filled with nutritious food that is good for you is key to a long and happy life.
So, what about a diet that will not only keep you trim but also promote heart health and possibly help you to live longer? Sound too good to be true?
Read on to find out how you could get all of these benefits.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
For those living off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a daily diet rich with fresh fish, grains, fresh fruits and vegetables is a standard part of everyday living. Yet more and more people outside of the Mediterranean have realised the benefits to this diet and have decided to adopt it.
The Mediterranean diet is mainly plant based. The focus is on as many whole grains and fresh produce as possible. It replaces unhealthy fats like butter for olive oil and other healthy oils. It also limits red meat and instead focuses on poultry and especially fresh fish.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The diets basics of healthy living will encourage you to lose weight. However, the benefits go beyond just your waistline.
There is a significant amount of research suggesting that following the Mediterranean diet can improve heart health and decreases chances of heart disease. There is also research suggesting that the diet can also help you to live longer and prevent chronic diseases.
A lot of this research is linked to the fact that the diet is filled with the use of herbs for flavour rather than salt. Many of these herbs, such as rosemary, are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Furthermore, following a low-calorie style version of the diet has been shown to lower blood sugar enough to improve or even reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes. As the number of people with prediabetes alone continues to rise, this is a great step in the management of the ongoing battle with type 2 diabetes.
Acciaroli, a small town in Italy is also showing that following this nutritious diet can also help you to live longer. With more than 300 centenarians living in this little town alone, scientist are incredibly interested as to how so many people have come to live beyond 100 years of age considering the entire population is no more than 2000 residents.
Although a good set of genes probably have a massive part to play, a group of US scientists are running tests in this little town to discover whether the Mediterranean diet is the key to reaching your 100th birthday.
How to Start a Mediterranean Diet
As you can see, the benefits of eating like the Italians are endless, so here is how you can start your own Med diet.
- Eat more fish, 3 portions weekly
- 10 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily
- More healthy fats like avocados, olives and olive oil
- Only have red meat as a treat once a month
- Make sure all your grains are whole grains
- Eat more herbs like rosemary as seasonings and cut down on salt.
So now you know the benefits and how to start the diet, why not try a Mediterranean way of eating yourself and see if you can start to reap the positive benefits.