The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts, and olive oil along with a moderate amount of dairy, red meat, and poultry.
It discourages sugars and processed foods. It has been shown to offer a variety of benefits, such as supporting brain function, promoting heart health, regulating blood sugar levels, and so on.
The diet includes heart-healthy unsaturated fats and fiber and claims to help lower bad cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and aid in weight loss.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
A traditional Mediterranean diet includes the following:
vegetables, fruits, and whole grainsnuts, seeds, and olive oilmoderate amounts of dairy and fishsmall amounts of red meatfewer eggsmoderate quantity of red wine
This diet avoids and discourages refined grains, highly processed foods, and products with added sugars.
Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is wholesome. (Image via Unsplash/Tania Melnyczuk)
This diet provides bioactive plant compounds from plants and vegetables, known as polyphenols and plant fiber. Polyphenols are strong antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and are also responsible for cell damage.
Dietary fibers improve gut health and promote good digestion. Polyphenols in Mediterranean diet may also regulate gut bacteria, which are essential for digestion. Fibers prevent flatulence and constipation.
Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for brain health and may protect against cognitive decline in aged individuals. This diet has been associated with improved memory functions and reductions in risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Multiple studies have found that this diet can reduce blood glucose level and improve levels of HbA1C, a biomarker used to measure long-term levels of blood glucose.
This diet can help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and premature death. The Mediterranean diet is often recommended to protect against chronic diseases. Flavonoids present in green vegetables and fruits also help reduce weight.
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