It gets so confusing when it comes to which diets are healthy and which aren’t. High in fat and high in protein? Best to lose fat. High in carbs? Best for exercise and staying energized. Veganism, juice diets, and Atkins have all had their time to shine, too.
But if there’s one diet that’s repeatedly shown to have nearly endless health benefits, it’s the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, reduce the likelihood of heart disease and certain cancers, combat diabetes, and can even help knock away a few inches around the waistline.
But a study released late last year, following over 15,000 participants, showed that depression was far less likely in people who followed the Mediterranean diet. The researchers concluded that nutrient deficiencies might play a large role in the development of depressive symptoms.
The Mediterranean diet consists of nutrient-dense food that makes it virtually impossible for you to experience deficiencies. The staples are various green and colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes such as beans and nuts, healthy oils and fats, plus chicken and fish, and very little in the way of sweets, processed meats, and red meat. Moderate alcohol consumption, often in the form of red wine, can also be a part of this diet.
Processed meats and sugary treats have been associated with depression before, so this may be unsurprising to you. But what makes this study unique is that it shows how eating can greatly reduce your chances of depression, or even battle it.
Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
If you’d like to take advantage of the myriad health benefits of a Mediterranean diet—likely the healthiest way to eat—it’s quite easy. Stick to the produce section of the grocery store and eat as many colors as possible. Use olive oil to dress salads and add flavor to your veggies and beans, and stick to almonds and nut butters for snacks. Eat omega-3-rich salmon a couple of times per week, and if you need some bread products, stick to whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and other complex carbs.
The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, body and soul, while providing the best opportunity to stay healthy in virtually every way.
Source for Today’s Article:
Biomed Central, “Fruit and vegetables aren’t only good for a healthy body; they protect your mind too,” Sciencedaily web site, September 16, 2015; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916215535.htm, last accessed July 10, 2016.