Mediterranean diet incorporates a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for health and are low in unhealthy fats such as saturated fats and trans-fats. An excellent source of fibre and antioxidants, Mediterranean diet benefits the overall health of an individual. Here are some benefits of Mediterranean diet.
A major advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it is heart healthy and has cancer preventive properties. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and therefore, provides a great number of micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help in keeping severe diseases, especially cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease at bay. A recent study has shown that following a Mediterranean diet alleviates the risk of cardiovascular mortality, possibilities of cancer and cancer mortality and chances of Parkinson and Alzheimer's disease.
Regular consumption of plant-based foods, fish and olive oil with moderate indulgence in alcohol is effective in protecting one’s body against obesity and type 2 diabetes. High in fibre, Mediterranean diet slows the process of digestion to prevent blood sugar from shooting up, lowers insulin resistance and improves insulin sensitivity thereby, preventing type 2 diabetes.
Mediterranean diet includes a good amount of fruits (especially oranges, apples and tomatoes), vegetables and nuts that make one’s immune system resistant to allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms. Regular intake of grapes provides protection against current and previous wheezing. The red grape skin has a good amount of antioxidants as well as resveratrol, which lowers the inflammatory activity that causes an asthma attack.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the idea that one does not need to limit his/her total fat consumption, but choose the right type of fat to eat. Inclusions of Mediterranean diet contain less cholesterol and have more fats containing linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid), which is beneficial and healthy. The good sources of the omega-3 fatty acid include olive oil, canola oil and nuts, particularly walnuts and fish. Omega-3 fatty acids include healthy fats, lower triglycerides and may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the inflamed blood vessel lining. The Mediterranean diet restricts the consumption of food items containing saturated fats and trans-fatty acids as these increase the risk of heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet allows moderate consumption of red wine, which has an aspirin-like effect, lowering the blood’s tendency to clot. Red wine contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease. Consumption of red wine in moderation is believed to lower the risk of breast cancer and it has anti-ageing properties.
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