Why Mediterranean Diet is the Best in the World?
France, Spain, Italy and Greece are among the top seven countries in the world where most people have healthy diet. Such are the results obtained from the World Health Organization ( WHO ), on a research conducted on the duration of life and healthy life in general. It notes that the Mediterranean diet is undoubtedly one of the factors that leads to favorable prognosis in terms of the duration of life. So what is the secret of the Mediterranean diet?
Among nutritionists, this diet is considered particularly useful in the fight against cardiovascular disease because it includes mainly dishes that contain whole grains, vegetables, fruits and fish.
It is considered as the best balanced and effective diet due to the presence of olive oil, which has significant amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E and possesses antioxidant properties. Thanks to olive oil , the traditional Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in general have become so attractive and prevalent among people who appreciate the well-being of their body. Researchers claim that nitro fatty acids, formed when olive oil and vegetables are eaten together, are the key to the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.
Overall Benefit of the Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet does not only protect against diabetes and heart disease but generally it improves the quality of life.
A great number of studies show that the Mediterranean diet significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and many forms of dementia. Nutritionists explain the fact that this diet allows us a balanced mix of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals , and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats, which in turn help the cells to reduce the level of inflammation and to maintain the antioxidants within the body .
To put it in simple words, the Mediterranean diet limits the intake of meat so it reduces the risk of chronic diseases and drastically reduces the risk for any disease due to the perfect combination of fruits, vegetables, legumes and proteins.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a survey of Spanish researchers from the University of Las Palmas where the findings show that the Mediterranean diet and its health protein sources, such as nuts, fish and olive oil, improve not only mental and physical health, but overall quality of life as well.
11.000 people participated in the survey and it was conducted over a period of four years. At the beginning the dietary habits of each of the participants were recorded, and after the study, it was observed their personal assessment of the quality of life .
The researchers found that those participants who were fed on a model close to the Mediterranean diet, more vegetables , fruits , nuts , fish and wholegrain products and less meat, dairy products and alcohol, showed higher scores on the questionnaire for assessing quality of life.
“People who are interested in having a good health should realize that the best health program can be achieved only if you avoid sugar, sweets, cakes, hydrogenated fats and sugary drinks”, concludes the leading researcher Dr. Enrikes – Sanchez.
Prevents asthma and allergies
The traditional Mediterranean food consists mostly of fruits and vegetables, and they reduce asthma symptoms and different types of allergies – especially nasal.
” In recent years many medical examinations are done in terms of the significance of food on the occurrence of asthma and allergy, as well as suppression of the reactions of these diseases “claims Dr. Paul Kullman from the National Institute in London .
During his research British scientists gathered data for 690 children (at the age from 7 to 18) who lived in the Mediterranean region and compared the results with the data from children who suffered from asthma and allergies in UK.
According to Dr. Kullman, the results are convincing enough so that foods rich in antioxidants can be recommended as a protection against asthma and allergies.
Fights against cancer
This conclusion is based on data from two parallel analyses conducted under the guidance of specialists from the National Institute of Health USA (National Institute of Health).
They confirm the continuous thesis that strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet fights against the development of cancer cells thus prolonging the human life. If you follow a Mediterranean way of eating, the health benefits are usually noticed in a period of 3-5 years. You should also keep in mind that physical activity take also a special place in a healthy lifestyle.
People whose diet is similar to the so-called Mediterranean diet are less threatened by the development of Alzheimer’s disease .
“It turns out that certain nutrients can play an important role in the development and prevention of this terrible disease by 45 percent “, say scientists from the Medical Center at the University of Columbia(USA ) .
The Mediterranean diet includes mainly the use of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals , sour – milk products, lean meat, olive oil and a very little amount of alcohol, usually wine.
During the 7-year period U.S. scientists studied about 2,000 people. The results show that people who exercise in Mediterranean food have significantly lower risk of deterioration of cognitive abilities .
The Mediterranean diet reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood and strengthens the blood vessels. All this eliminates conditions associated with deterioration of mental abilities.
Benefits for children
The researchers calculated how many extra years of life this way of eating can give to people. According to them, the Mediterranean diet can extend life by three years and generally increases the chance for longevity by 20 percent.
These calculations are made by scientists from Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. The results are quite convincing and are based on research which for more than 40 years summarized data on the lifestyle of thousands of people over the age of 70 years.
Health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are not completely confined to the older group. One of the researches which scientists take into account , was conducted with a group of children who followed the diet and their health results were much better in comparison with children of the same age who adhered to a diet that included meat and dairy products.