The benefits of a Mediterranean-based diet are plentiful, both to the overall health of the body and to your energy levels and skin condition. A Mediterranean diet is essentially characterized by a high consumption of fresh vegetables and olive oil, combined with a moderate consumption of lean proteins.
Here are the main benefits of a natural and healthy Mediterranean-based diet.
What Does a Mediterranean Based Diet Consist of?
The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of the early 1960’s Greeks and Southern Italians, and the main elements are fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, fish, olive oil, and nuts. Processed foods, desserts, and red meats are acceptable but only in small and controlled portions.
Seafood is an integral part of a Mediterranean diet, and the goal is to consume around three, four-ounce servings per week. Seafood is naturally low in calories and rich in natural proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids and some simple meal ideas using seafood include:
- Tuna and mackerel salads
- Pasta with sardines or anchovies
- Smoked or pickled herring sandwiches
- Cod and vegetables
- Steamed or grilled seabass
- Salmon sandwiches or salads
There is no limit to the types of vegetables possible when following a Mediterranean diet, and even white, starch-filled vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, and potatoes are acceptable. Similarly, all kinds of fruits are included, although it is pertinent to point out that fresh fruits are significantly better for you than canned. You should aim to consume three servings of between half and a full cup of fresh fruit a day.
Copious research has proven that even casually following a Mediterranean diet can help reduce high cholesterol levels as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease. Inevitably, due to the low-calorie elements, the diet also helps lose weight and increase overall physical fitness and health.
There is an abundance of health benefits associated with following a Mediterranean-based diet, from preventing certain types of cancer to the health of your heart and circulatory system. Recent studies have even shown that people who tend to mainly follow such a diet are substantially less likely to develop heart disease, with an estimated 4% of heart disease cases believed to have been entirely preventable by adhering to a Mediterranean diet. In the United Kingdom, the availability of ripe, juicy tomatoes and freshly caught seafood is sadly significantly less than in mainland Europe. The best way of experiencing Mediterranean food is to visit an authentic and charming, family-run Mediterranean restaurant such as café-luca.co.uk, who will showcase all that Mediterranean cuisine has to offer.
Following the healthy and nutritious Mediterranean diet also allows for individual dietary preferences, a wide variety of meals and ingredient variants, encourages flavor variety, and overall does not feel like a conventional, restrictive diet in any way.
Mediterranean diets may also decrease cognitive decline, significantly help you lose weight, and reduce the risk of having a stroke. When you consider all these benefits, having a Mediterranean-based diet, or even just incorporating meals every now and again, is a great thing to do.