Doctors and dietitians have long touted the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest and most sustainable eating patterns in the world. But what exactly makes it so special? Here are a few of its many benefits.
It can keep your heart healthy.
Fats play an important role in any diet—but not all fats are created equal. The Mediterranean diet is rich in unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These fats promote heart health by lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and helping you feel full so you maintain a healthy weight.
It can boost your brain.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to improved cognitive functioning and a lowered rate of cognitive decline. In other words, it can help your brain work better today and stay healthier tomorrow. It may also lower your risk of developing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
It can prevent chronic disease.
By emphasizing mostly plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of a host of diseases, from cancer to diabetes. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these ingredients can also keep your immune system strong and prevent colds and other illnesses.
It's easy to follow.
Think of the Mediterranean diet as a lifestyle. It doesn't ban certain foods or restrict calories. It simply limits less healthy foods such as red meat and butter and encourages healthier options. Big on bread? Swap your white bread for whole wheat bread. Sprinkle salt on everything? Try some fresh herbs, vinegar, or lemon juice instead.
You're more likely to stick with a healthy diet when you enjoy what you're eating. The Mediterranean diet isn't just full of nutrients; it's full of flavor. From ripe fruits and vegetables to crunchy nuts, its main elements are sure to tempt the taste buds. Bonus: If you enjoy the occasional glass of wine, there's no reason to stop.