Lowers the Risk of High Blood Pressure
Foods in the Mediterranean diet are high in monounsaturated fats which are ideal for controlling cholesterol levels. While much of the Mediterranean lifestyle revolves around food, one important thing to remember is that individuals who truly live that life take the time to enjoy it to the fullest. This includes their food. The stress of work and family can sometimes take over, causing people to rush through a meal. Take time. Enjoy your food. Put the stress of the day’s events aside, especially at mealtime. Reducing stress will also help to control and regulate a person’s blood pressure.
Helps to Prevent Heart Disease
The Mediterranean diet involves the use of olive oil and other monounsaturated fats. Balsamic vinegars are also used and provide an provide many different flavors. Olive oil can be used for cooking or mixed with any one of the vinegars to make a flavorful salad dressing. Butter and heavy fats like lard are rarely used in Mediterranean cooking. With all of the unique flavors used in this type of diet, there is little need for the use of salt. Controlling the consumption of salt and heavy fats will help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
The Mediterranean diet includes many different foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and nutrients. They also contain ample phytochemicals that help to reduce the body’s resistance to insulin. With most of the foods used in this type of diet being fresh and unprocessed, they are more likely to be assimilated more fully by the body. This means that the body is better able to break down the sugars ingested by the body. A more efficient digestive system, means better utilization of nutrients and sugars and a reduced risk of diabetes.
Improves the Chances of Living Longer
The Mediterranean lifestyle and diet work together to improve a person’s chances of living a longer, more fulfilling life. With the risks of chronic health conditions at a minimum, a person is better able to exercise more, get the rest they need and actually enjoy their lives. The fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, high protein foods and those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids make the Mediterranean diet perfect for individuals who want to fight chronic illnesses and live a longer, more active life.
Reduces the Risk of Fatty Liver Disease
The Mediterranean diet contains very few processed foods. Processed foods contain additives, preservatives, chemicals and various fats and sugars that are extremely hard on the liver. By eliminating these difficult foods, people who choose to follow the Mediterranean diet plan have a reduced risk of fatty liver disease. Their digestive tract functions more efficiently and allows for more nutrients to enter the bloodstream. By eliminating fatty, fried foods and those made with heavy fats, the liver does not have to work as hard to break down the food and filter out the toxins.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer
The fresh fruits and vegetables that are a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet are full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Antioxidants are well known for the destruction of free radicals that are commonly associated with various types of cancer. Meals that conform to this type of diet are generally made from scratch using ingredients like olive oil, balsamic vinegars and foods that are high in both proteins and monounsaturated fats. By reducing the amount of additives and preservatives in the diet, the risk of chronic illnesses and various types of cancers are also dramatically reduced.
Eliminates Additives, Preservatives and Other Chemicals
People who live the Mediterranean lifestyle and follow the diet plan prefer foods that are made from scratch and include the freshest ingredients. Eating foods in their freshest state reduces a person’s exposure to toxic additives and preservatives that can cause the liver to become sluggish and slow down the digestive system to the point where a person’s health is affected. Following the Mediterranean lifestyle also encourages buying locally grown produce whenever possible. Proper meal prep with the right nutrients offers the body the nutrients it needs to thrive and remain healthy.
Increased Consumption of Antioxidants
Antioxidants destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals damage cells and can eventually lead to many different types of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is full of foods that are heavily laden with antioxidants and other nutrients that work to bring about positive change within the body. Fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, yogurt, nuts and whole grains are just a few of the foods included in the diet. With olive oil as the main source of fat, it also contains an abundance of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that keeps harmful cholesterol levels low. The diet encourages foods that help to destroy and flush away free radicals while eliminating processed foods that can cause them to wreak havoc in the body.
Enhanced Brain Function and Improved Mental Clarity
Nuts and other foods rich in Vitamin B and antioxidants can help to improve brain function and enhance mental clarity. The monounsaturated fats that collect polyunsaturated fats as they move through the bloodstream make more room for vital nutrients and fresh oxygen to be carried throughout the body. The brain also benefits from the abundance of nutrients and oxygen and will function more efficiently. With increased oxygen, a person can think more clearly and focus more readily on the tasks at hand.
Risk of Parkinson’s Disease May Be Dramatically Reduced
While there are no actual studies to support this information, it is possible that improving one’s diet by including Mediterranean based meal plan can possibly reduce the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and other chronic conditions. Nutritional studies claim that people who eat healthy foods like those included in Mediterranean meals are 13% less likely to develop a debilitating illness. It is a proven fact that eating fresh foods that are full of nutrients, antioxidants and devoid of additives and preservatives can actually work to restore good health when combined with other positive lifestyle changes.