The history and tradition of the Mediterranean diet come from the historic eating and social patterns of the regions around southern Italy, Greece, Turkey and Spain.
Not only is the Mediterranean diet a tasty way to eat, drink and live, but it’s also a realistic and sustainable way to reduce disease-causing inflammation and lose weight, too (or maintain a healthy weight).
The Mediterranean diet has long been one of the healthiest diets known to man. But it’s not just a diet or even a way of eating … it’s really a way of life. Because for thousands of years people living along the Mediterranean coast have indulged in a high-fiber diet of fruits and vegetables, also including quality fats and proteins and sometimes a glass of locally made wine to complete a meal, too. Meanwhile, this diet has gotten a reputation for disease prevention and even “enjoyable” weight manageable.
Starting in Italy thousands of years ago and spreading to Greece, Spain and other areas around the Mediterranean, this diet is now successful all over the world for promoting health and longevity. While it’s always existed, even before books and studies were dedicated to it, the diet really began to take hold around the world in the 1990s, when a Harvard University doctor showcased it as a diet useful for improving heart health, losing weight fast and easily and clearing up other health issues.
What Are the Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?
Considered by many nutrition experts to be one of the most heart-healthy ways of eating there is, the base of the Mediterranean diet is loaded with anti-inflammatory foods and built upon plant-based foods and healthy fats.
Based on much research, this particular diet can protect against the development of heart disease, metabolic complications, depression, cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The best part is, even with all of these benefits, it still provides the opportunity for people to “eat, drink and be merry.”
Ever wonder why people from the Mediterranean region seem so happy and full of life? It’s tempting to attribute their good health and positive moods to one single factor alone — like their diet, for example — but the truth is that it’s a combination of their lifestyle factors and their unprocessed diets that has promoted their longevity and low rates of disease for centuries.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health,”Together with regular physical activity and not smoking, our analyses suggests that over 80% of coronary heart disease, 70% of stroke, and 90% of type 2 diabetes can be avoided by healthy food choices that are consistent with the traditional Mediterranean diet.”