Food, obviously, is one of the basic human needs for survival along with water, oxygen, sleep and shelter. Nowadays, while people crave for scrumptious delicacies to satisfy their hunger and while trying to keep up with their busy schedules, they are also developing the art of conscious eating and becoming mindful of how these foods affect their health. The human body needs the right nutrition for vitality and longevity. Sometimes, eating three times a day isn’t enough to keep your health intact. People come up with different sorts of diets to be healthy and to feel good inside. One popular diet is the Mediterranean diet which consists mostly of pure, organic food. With the increased amount of supplemental and factory produced, artificially made food products, there is an increasing chance of decline in health conditions.
Mediterranean diet has proved to be beneficial to health in every way. Findings showed positive effects on the cardiovascular system, brain activity, metabolism, diabetes, etc. Some of the findings are as follows:
1 Effective for Cardiovascular Diseases
Studying the effects of Mediterranean diet showed less heart problems in Greece. In the studies conducted, most of the participants were patients with heart diseases, diabetes and weight problems. Some cases of patients with heart diseases later developed into heart attacks and death.
Initially, a study called ‘The Predimed Study’ was conducted in 2003. The study involved 7,447 asymptomatic individuals at high risk of heart disease. The participants were not put on caloric restriction but were advised to increase physical activity. Each was assigned to one of these three different diets:
- Mediterranean diet which includes 50 ml extra virgin olive oil per day
- Mediterranean diet includes 30 grams of different nuts per day
- A low-fat diet, which is the control group
The study was conducted by 6 different papers in different cities. Observing the participants for an average of 4.8 years, The New England Journal of Medicine came up with the following results regarding the risk of heart attack, stroke and death of patients with cardiovascular diseases:
The ones following the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil showed 30% lowered risk of stroke and death from cardiovascular causes while the Mediterranean diet including nuts showed 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Men showed higher rates than women and high school dropout rates were twice higher in the control group (11.3%) than in the Mediterranean diet group (4.9%). Moreover, people with lipid problems and high blood pressure responded positively to the Mediterranean diet.
2 Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
The Mediterranean diet shows beneficial effects to patients with metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.
Following the Mediterranean diet, about 13.7% of patients with metabolic syndrome showed signs of reversal, and 52% risk reduction of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Another study, called the Shai study has found that patients following the Mediterranean diet showed improvements in their blood glucose and insulin levels compared to those following a low-fat diet. This diet can also delay or prevent medicine treatment in newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients.
3 Beneficial for Brain Activity
In a study conducted by the JAMA Internal Medicine, the two groups supplemented with nuts and olive oil demonstrated a stronger memory than the control group. It showed that people who tend to feel old even at a younger age need not worry as there is a way to retain memory and keep mental acuity.
The lowered incidence of decline in cognitive function was due to the great quantity of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in supplemental foods. The researcher said that olive oil and nuts are packed with phenolic compounds that prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Although the researchers said that the diet doesn’t improve cognition, it is said to have lowered the decline rates. Their advice is to keep a healthy diet which includes 5 tablespoons of olive oil and nuts.