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Carlton Senior Living | March 22, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet

mediterranean-dietWhen most people think about “diet,” they think about a way to lose weight. However, the Mediterranean diet is a popular option that can help reduce inflammation that often leads to arthritis, helps to boost brain function, and can improve our heart health. The diet is known for a wide variety of flavors.

The basic elements of the diet include very little red meat, moderate portions of cheese and yogurt each week, and eating fish twice each week. It also includes plenty of water, a single glass of red wine each day, and a wide variety of seeds, spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The health benefits of this diet have been known for some time now, and are proven by a number of different studies. We will discuss a few of the different benefits of this diet.

Benefit #1 – Improved Brain Function

Studies have found that those who adhere to the Mediterranean diet have better functioning brains and have actual “younger” brains. Those who eat low amounts of saturated fats and plenty of fish have these benefits. While there is no immediate link between the Mediterranean diet and a reduction of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, it would make sense that a healthier, younger brain is able to ward off specific problems far more effectively.

Benefit #2 – Less Joint Inflammation

The Mediterranean staples (including olive oil and oily fish) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fatty acids are able to reduce joint inflammation. Not only does it help to prevent inflammation, but it can even help patients who already struggle with arthritis. A diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help with these swollen joints and muscles. Studies have shown that changes might be evident in as little as six months.

Benefit #3 – It Helps To Prevent Heart Disease

You are able to lower blood pressure and cholesterol by eating a higher amount of plant-based foods (including grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables). This will ultimately lead to reduced instances of heart attack and stroke.

According to a study from the Harvard Medical School in 2013, women who made sure that they ate these healthy foods regularly were 40 percent more likely to make it past their 70th birthday. Because the Mediterranean meals are mainly comprised of plant foods, it should be obvious that there is a link between this type of diet and some major advantages for our heart health. The main benefactor is believed to be the monounsaturated fats that we find in olive oil, fish, and nuts.

Never Too Old To Make A Change

Regardless of how old or young we are, it always makes sense to want to take better care of ourselves. The Mediterranean diet is able to offer a number of amazing benefits that would be difficult to find elsewhere. Make the change today and find out for yourself what benefits you may experience.