10 Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet


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Mediterranean diet benefits include being good for your prostate, heart, and overall health. The diet focuses on eating fresh fish, healthful oils, and produce that is in season, and does not include processed and packaged foods. Fresh whole food is higher in nutrients and does not contain additives and preservatives. This diet is sustainable and can be eaten for a lifetime compared to fad or weight-loss diets, which can have negative health affects and can only be followed for short times.

Here are 10 Mediterranean diet benefits that will give you 10 good reasons to love this diet.

You can eat fat

There is no cutting out calories and fat in this diet. You just need to focus on swapping out unhealthy fats like butter and animal fats for healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and olives. You can have a handful of nuts a day, which also provide benefits for your prostate. Eating these healthy fats can help you feel satisfied, add flavor, and help you fight diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and prostate cancer.

It is good for your heart

Mediterranean diet benefits can help lower cholesterol, promote healthy arteries, and lower blood pressure. According to one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases by 30%. Eating fish rather than beef trades saturated fat for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The diet also includes plant-based proteins such as legumes.

It prevents inflammation

Eliminating processed foods, unhealthy fats, and processed sugars will help you decrease inflammation. That makes this diet good for your heart, brain, and for preventing diseases and conditions such as arthritis, gout, chronic prostatitis, and type-2 diabetes, among many others.

It prevents cancer

Several studies show that a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil (such as the Mediterranean diet) can reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer including prostate, colorectal, and stomach cancers. 

You can have bread and pasta

You don’t even have to give up bread to get the full Mediterranean diet benefits. You can have whole grain bread and pasta. Whole grain products have more protein and minerals than white flour. Try dipping it in olive oil, hummus, or tahini. Covering pasta in tomato sauce gives you a good dose of the antioxidant lycopene.

Variety and spice

They say variety is the spice of life, and the Mediterranean diet provides both variety and spice. The diet takes elements from countries from Morocco to Turkey, Greece, France, Spain, and Italy to name a few. Speaking of those spices, there are many spices that give Mediterranean food so much flavor that you will use less salt, which is good for your heart and blood pressure. Many of the spices also have amazing health benefits in addition to good flavor. There are many garlic health benefits for men as well as benefits to rosemary and coriander. Other flavors include cinnamon, bay leaves, pepper, and cilantro.

It’s easy

You can quickly throw together a healthy hors de oeuvre platter of nuts, olives, cheese, and snack on bread with olive oil for dipping. It makes no-fuss entertaining great because it is easy to make flavorful healthy recipes in advance so you can spend time with your guests instead of in the kitchen.

Red wine is included

A glass or two of wine, always in moderation, may be good for your heart, plus it is relaxing. The resveratrol in the wine is a phytonutrient and antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in the body.

It is satisfying

The Mediterranean diet helps you feel satiated and full. Many of the foods are slowly digested. The fats in nuts and olives or low-fat cheese can sustain you longer and help keep down cravings.

It may help you lose weight

The slower eating style of the Mediterranean diet benefits leaves you full and satisfied. When you eat or drink you release chemicals. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register these chemicals and tell you that you are full. When you eat slower you will realize you feel full and satisfied with less food than if you quickly wolfed down a burger and fries.

Reference

Estruch R et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. New England Journal of Medicine 2013; 368:1279-90