I just returned from a delightful trip to Spain, where I was re-inspired by the culture, the people, and of course, the Mediterranean cuisine. The Mediterranean Diet is not only delicious, but it has anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy benefits, making it one of the best ways to eat for most people. The Mediterranean diet is a plant-forward, antioxidant-rich, unsaturated fat diet that has been linked to lower rates of non-communicable diseases and overall mortality, making it one of the healthiest diets.
The Mediterranean diet, with its unique foods and nutrients, has been shown in clinical trials to reduce inflammation, and knock down oxidative stress, sluggish metabolism, obesity, cognitive decline, neurodegeneration, and tumor growth. Scientific studies have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet may be beneficial for sleep quantity and quality as well as improving wellbeing and health
One of the main reasons the Mediterranean Diet is so healthy is because it is rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation is linked to a variety of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. By eating anti-inflammatory foods, we can help reduce our risk of developing these diseases
Key components of the Mediterranean Diet include:
-Fresh fruits and vegetables
-Nuts and seeds
-Beans and legumes
Lean meats, including chicken, pork, duck, and beef, are included, but in much smaller portions than you'll see here in the United States. Mindful portions are simply part of the lifestyle.
Here's something else to keep in mind. When I think about the word "diet" I think about nourishment. I think about the Latin origin of the word, which is "diaeta," meaning, "way of living." The Mediterranean "way of living" is about so much more than the food we eat. It's about community, connection, and slowing down to enjoy life.
You've probably experimented with at least a dozen, if not more, diets or fads. Keto, vegan, intermittent fasting, paleo, low-carb, low-fat, Zone, blood type, Ayurveda, macrobiotic, raw, gluten free, lectin-free, etc. And yes, there are certain health conditions that definitely call for specific dietary adjustments. The Mediterranean Diet is an overall great choice for most people. It has plenty of scientifically proven benefits that make it one of the best. Try it out and see for yourself! You might just find that it's the best way of living for you, too.