The Mediterranean diet focuses on whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and nuts. Studies revealed a vast difference in the health of the people who were on a Mediterranean diet and others. There were a lot of health benefits seen in people who followed a Mediterranean diet.
Prevents cognitive and memory decline
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats. They are necessary for the proper functioning of the brain cells and the nervous system. Healthy fats boost brain health and its cognitive and analytical abilities, which prevents cognitive decline associated with aging and dementia.
A study revealed that strictly following a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of memory loss and decreased cognitive abilities by 40%. Some of the best sources of healthy fats are olive oil, canola oil, nuts, avocado, salmon, and mackerel. Be it for salad dressings or for cooking vegetables and fish, olive oil and canola oil are great options.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
As mentioned earlier, the Mediterranean diet focuses on consuming healthy fats. This means that the major cause of cardiovascular diseases, which is unhealthy trans fats, is completely omitted from the diet. This reduces the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and the blood vessels, decreasing the risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
Another important part of the Mediterranean diet is to replace salt with spices and herbs. Since salt is one of the major triggers of hypertension, replacing it with healthier options overcomes the risk of high blood pressure.
Helps maintain normal blood sugar levels
Whole grains and legumes are the primary sources of carbohydrates and proteins in the Mediterranean diet. They help reduce the blood sugar levels owing to the complex carbohydrates and fiber. They take a longer time to get into the bloodstream, making one feel satiated for an extended period. They help reduce blood sugar levels significantly, which greatly benefits type 2 diabetes patients.
Since obesity also affects diabetes, following a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of obese people developing diabetes. A study revealed that people with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean diet showed a striking reduction in their blood sugar levels.
According to a study, people who followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of succumbing to depression than others. This is attributed to the consumption of healthy fats that protect the brain, and the fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants also contribute to boosting brain health.
Reduces the risk of cancer
Following a Mediterranean diet has been linked to having a reduced risk of developing cancer. Studies have shown a significant reduction in the risk due to the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.