The Mediterranean diet is primarily a plant-based diet, which consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, olive oil and fresh fish. These foods are considered to be effective in reducing the risk of developing certain types of health conditions and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Because most of the foods eaten in a Mediterranean diet are rich in vitamins and minerals, they’ll help to maintain good health and can prevent a decline in your mental capacity as you age. If you’re looking for a diet that’s associated with good health and vitality, then this one could be right for you.

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

According the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world. Some of the main risk factors for developing this disease are an unhealthy diet, being overweight, smoking and lack of exercise. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease can be reduced significantly by making healthy lifestyle choices. Choosing to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables can help to keep your heart healthy. For instance, broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which is known to trigger the production of a protein that protects the heart from cell damage.

Why Choose a Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good heart health for many years, and now scientific studies have confirmed this theory. “The Lyon Diet Heart Study” was carried out by a group of researchers who were investigating the benefits of eating a Mediterranean-type diet after surviving a heart attack. The menu for participants in this study included more vegetables (both root and green), more bread, more fish, daily fruit intake, the replacement of most red meat with poultry, and the use of margarine instead of butter or cream.

The results were impressive: After just four years of eating this plant-based diet, the subjects had a 50-70 percent reduced risk of recurring heart disease. These findings show that eating a Mediterranean diet is a significant factor in preventing heart disease.

Changing Your Diet

If you want to reap the rewards from ”going Mediterranean,” you could start off by introducing healthy foods into your diet gradually. You might even try to introduce a new food to your menu each week. Why not start off by replacing your cooking oil with olive oil, then the following week you could substitute red meat for fresh fish, and continue this way until your diet has transitioned into the Mediterranean diet.

Nourishing your body with fresh foods will give you more energy and could prevent future health problems. See what adopting a Mediterranean diet can do for your body and your overall health.

Sources:

https://www.cardiosmart.org/News-and-Events/2014/08/Mediterranean-Diet-Reduces-Risk-for-Heart-Disease

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index2.html

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/103/13/1823.full

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=2211&pageNumber=2

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7201918.stm