Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: How It Helps
People who eat a Mediterranean diet tend to experience significant health benefits, ranging from reduced blood sugar to better memory.
The following are some of the top health advantages of the Mediterranean diet:
1. Preserve memory and prevent cognitive decline:
Full of healthy fats for the brain, the Mediterranean diet can be good for boosting brain power and preventing dementia and cognitive decline.
In one study, researchers found that high adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 40 percent reduced risk for cognitive impairment.
2. Reduce your risk for heart disease:
Studies show that following a Mediterranean diet can greatly reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and stroke.
This is likely due to the Mediterranean diet’s positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
3. Strengthen bones:
One study suggests that certain compounds in olive oil may help preserve bone density by increasing the proliferation and maturation of bone cells.
Another study found that dietary patterns associated with the Mediterranean diet may help to prevent osteoporosis.
4. Manage diabetes and control blood sugar:
The Mediterranean diet has proven beneficial effects for diabetes. It might be able to prevent type 2 diabetes and can help improve blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk in those who already have it.
5. Fight depression:
People who follow the Mediterranean diet may be protected against depression, too.
A 2013 study found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet most closely had a 98.6 percent lower risk of developing depression than people who followed it the least closely.
6. Protect against cancer:
Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet may help fight off cancer.
A systematic review of studies found that overall, people who adhere to the diet the most have a 13 percent lower rate of cancer mortality compared to those who adhere the least.
15 Specific cancers protected against include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer.
Source: University Health News