Evidence for the benefits of a Mediterranean diet—rich in fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish and poultry—is growing. Here's what the latest research shows.
A Mediterranean diet may lower levels of platelets and white blood cells, according to an Italian study. These are markers of inflammation, which is linked to greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
It could guard against type-2 diabetes. This was the conclusion of a study of 3,500 older adults at high risk for heart disease, while a review of 19 studies covering 162,000 people over five and a half years found that the Med diet was associated with a 21 per cent lower risk.
It may cut the risk of cardiovascular disease in young working adults, according to an American study.
It appears to keep you young. Researchers in Boston who followed the health of 5,000 nurses over a period of ten years found that those who ate the Mediterranean way had fewer signs of ageing in their cells. So it could well be the recipe for a long life.
Not already a devotee?
Start by choosing quality over quantity and eating smaller portions more slowly.
Favour wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread and brown rice, over refined products such as white bread. Eat more nuts, seeds and dried fruit and less red meat. Swap processed and fast foods for fresh and freshly prepared ingredients, and replace sugary puddings with fruit-based treats.
Fresh Mediterranean Recipe Ideas:
Spanish Chicken Stew
Chicken, Chorizo, Olives, Onion and Peppers
Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad