The Mediterranean diet is basically the diet found in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea — for example, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, France, etc. While these countries do not share exactly the same methods of food preparation — due to differences in culture, ethnic background, economy and agricultural production — there are ingredients that are common to most.
The ingredients found in typical meals around this area are dairy products, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, bread and cereals, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds and the use of olive oil and wine.
The Mediterranean diet is considered by many nutritionists to be one of the healthiest ways of eating. This type of diet can protect against the development of heart disease, depression, cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Olive oil and nuts help lower bad cholesterol; fruits, vegetables and legumes keep arteries clear; fish helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure and berries provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Also of interest is the anti-aging benefit of the Mediterranean diet.
According to dermatologists, the Mediterranean diet can reduce aging of the skin. Fruit, vegetables, fish, grains and foods rich in anti-oxidants can help limit the amount of wrinkles. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects that can help curb the effects of aging. Free radical damage has though to be the root cause of wrinkles and aging. The typical North American diet contains excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, saturated fats and sugar which has been shown to coincide with an increased appearance of wrinkles. The Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on extra virgin olive oil has been shown to provide a significant advantage when it comes to having less wrinkles.
Combining your diet with sufficient water is key. Healthy skin is also well-hydrated skin, and 8 glasses a day seems to be the average number. AT the same time, you should limit the intake of dehydrating liquids such as coffee, alcohol and sugar flavored drinks.
The Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight and feel better as well. The best part is that with all these benefits, you still get to share food and live well.