Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet Foods

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet Foods

The Mediterranean diet is quickly becoming a popular trend among those seeking a longer, healthier life and it comes with many benefits.

Built on a foundation of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, the diet ranked third on U.S. News and World Report’s, “Best Overall Diets,” list—receiving four out of five stars from nutritional experts.

Here are some positive effects of the diet:

Keeps elderly sharp: A 2012 study conducted on elderly residents of Tuscany, Italy, discovered that the Mediterranean-style diet decreased a senior’s odds of developing hallmark signs of frailty (slow walking speed, muscle weakness, generalized exhaustion) by about 70 percent, when compared to those on a different nutritional program.

Keeps chronic ailments at bay: Numerous studies shows how Mediterranean diet foods can help reduce a person’s risk for developing chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, dental disease, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s. They may also help people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their condition.

Protects the brain: Following this diet may reduce a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. “We know that dietary habits can and do have profound effects on our brains both directly, as well as indirectly,” says Christopher Ochner, Ph.D., a leading nutrition and brain health researcher and co-author of the book, “The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach for Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment.” Ochner’s co-author and colleague, Richard Isaacson, M.D., an Alzheimer’s disease specialist says that a good diet is one that is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in dairy, saturated fat and refined sugar (a.k.a. the Mediterranean diet). He adds, “The positive effects on memory function associated with a brain-healthy diet may be as effective (or even more effective over time) than those achieved with current FDA-approved medications.”

Find out more about the Mediterranean diet.