A key aspect of True Wealth is our health. And our health is clearly linked to our diet and movement practices. But we have been brainwashed to develop awful eating and diet patterns. What if I told you there was a totally natural and absolutely delicious and filling “diet” that was actually amazing for our health! Enter the Mediterranean diet!
Have you ever heard of the Mediterranean diet? What is it and what are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet? We explore all this and more!
Heart Healthy Region
The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating pattern inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The diet refers to the traditional food cultures of the regions that surround the Mediterranean Sea. These include Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.
5 key elements of the Mediterranean diet
Below are the main food elements of the Mediterranean diet. But we must also consider non food factors to health outcomes. These cultures are also known for having a walking, gardening and movement culture. They are also known for a sense of family and community which typically makes each individual healthier.
1. Emphasis on plant-based foods
The Mediterranean diet focuses on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
2. Healthy fats
The diet is rich in healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds. It also includes fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
3. Moderate amounts of dairy
The Mediterranean diet includes moderate amounts of dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
4. Limited red meat
Red meat is limited in the Mediterranean diet, and instead, lean proteins such as poultry, eggs, and fish are consumed in moderation.
5. Herbs and spices
The Mediterranean diet includes the use of herbs and spices to flavor food, rather than relying on salt and sugar. This adds variety and flavor to the diet without adding excess calories, salt, or sugar.
- Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butters: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, peanut butter
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas
- Whole grains: oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat bread and pasta
- Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey
- Eggs: chicken, quail, and duck eggs
- Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
- Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper
- Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, and avocado oil
One more thing to mention, the diet also can include a moderate amount of alcohol and red wine in particular. Alcohol is a tricky subject and we all know that overconsumption is just plain toxic. But there does seem to be som evidence that moderate amounts (no more than a glass every few days) and particularly red wine have some health benefits.
5 Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
So it all looks good and tastes good, but what are the real benefits? The Mediterranean diet is a well-researched eating pattern that has been associated with numerous health benefits. Here are five benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
1. Reduced risk of heart disease
The Mediterranean diet is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It also includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants that promote heart health. This is a way to live longer better and avoid the costs that heart disease wreck on our society.
2. Improved brain function
Building a life of True Wealth requires our brains to function well. The Mediterranean diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain health. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet may improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Lower risk of cancer
It is one thing to lower the risk of heart disease, but wouldn’t it be awesome to also lower the risk of cancer? This can be done with The Mediterranean diet. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, which have been associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
4. Better weight management
It’s ironic, but even with the addition of good fat oils like olive and fattty fish, The Mediterranean diet typically helps a person manage weight. The diet emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods and is low in processed foods and added sugars. Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean-style eating pattern can help with weight loss and weight management.
5. Longer and higher quality lifespan
Research has shown that following a Mediterranean diet is associated with a longer lifespan. A large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 20% reduction in all-cause. But the added benefit is a better quality life. That is Money Vikings are all about!
This is not health advice to anyone, but I am trying my best to incorporate elements of the Mediterranean diet into my life and all the other health ideas at Money Vikings Health. Not only do I feel better, but can potentially live a longer and higher quality life. If you got something out of this article, we encourage you to share on social media, thank you!
What we eat can be as important as the timing of our meals. Check out more on intermittent fasting: