Studies say that it’s not only good for your heart, but also your sex life.
We know what you’re thinking. Here comes another diet fad. NOPE! This isn’t a trend, but a way of (healthy) life. The Mediterranean Diet is based on the traditional eating habits from people in countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea—mainly Greece, southern Italy, and Spain. It encourages the consumption of fresh, seasonal, and local foods—think natural, colourful goodies such as olive oil, tomatoes, fish, and a ton of vegetables—which all have health benefits. In 2010, UNESCO recognised it as an intangible cultural asset and WHO has endorsed it as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern. Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean Diet can cause weight-loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
So, here are five reasons to give this eating plan a try!
1. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
The Mediterranean Diet includes—healthy proteins—mostly fresh seafood, poultry and eggs, along with leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli. It is also packed with healthy fats—in the form of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and olive oil. Fish and olive oil are the main protagonists in this eating plan. Olive oil is said to have a good amount of monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and LDL or the bad cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is said to reduce inflammation in the body. These also help decrease triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood), reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy and beating!
2. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SEX LIFE
Ha, invoked your interest, didn’t we? Erectile Dysfunction (ED) has often been linked to heart disease. ED preceding heart problems is more often due to the dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessels and smooth muscle. This causes inadequate blood supply to the heart and impaired blood flow to the penis! Since this eating plan is loaded with foods full of fibre and antioxidants—researchers believe that it works to reduce inflammation in your body, which is said to help promote healthy blood flow—which in turn, helps you satisfy your partner in bed.
3. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR EYES
Can you think of living without your smartphones and laptops for even a day? If you can, you’re not human, and where can we sign up for taking lessons? Our poor eyes are always working overtime, especially during the lockdown. The Mediterranean Diet has a great dose of antioxidant-rich foods like—dark leafy greens, fish, oranges, and peppers—which work wonders for your vision. Eating more fish and nuts that are high in omega-3 fatty acids—is said to prevent your retinas from cell damage.
4. IT’S GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS
You’ve been sweating it off regularly at the gym or home, yet the jelly belly isn’t making its way for your dreamy toned midriff/six-packs! Change your eating habits. The Mediterranean diet does not advocate a low carbohydrate diet—rather it recommends focusing on wholegrain and less refined carbs such as brown rice, wholegrain bread, pasta quinoa, oats and so on. It also focuses on good fats—such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Very little meat, sweets and dairy is included, and lean meats such as fresh poultry is preferred. No processed or refined foods, too. These will not only aid in weight loss, but also keep you overall healthy !
5. IT’S GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Sustainable eating habits will obviously be good for our planet. Since the eating plan focuses on local and seasonal produce, that itself discounts the carbon emissions when compared to food that has crossed oceans to get to your table. For example: Hass avocado produced in Mexico or New Zealand has more carbon footprint than your locally-grown one! Also, the Mediterranean Diet recommends eating red meat sporadically. With beef, you’re talking about 27 kilos of carbon per five kilos of beef produced. With chicken, you’re talking more in the order of five to six—cutting your meat footprint by a fifth. What’s good for your stomach is good for the environment too.
In addition, it’s great for boosting brain health too! We think it’s better to call it The Mediterranean way of eating than a ‘diet’—as the word comes with a lot of baggage and assumptions. Well, now you know that it’s NOT a structured diet. It is a healthy, well-balanced eating pattern based on the Mediterranean diet pyramid.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor or nutritionist before trying out anything new.
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