Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. These 6 Mediterranean diet benefits can help curb that number.
One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease, according to the CDC. Diabetes, obesity, and unhealthy alcohol use are all lifestyle factors contributing to heart disease.
Below we explore the Mediterranean diet and its benefits on heart health.
Mediterranean Diet Benefits
The Mediterranean diet consists of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, olive oil, and even a glass or two of red wine. But this diet consists of more than just food, it’s meant to be paired with physical activity and sharing meals with others.
Following all aspects of the diet can help reduce mental and physical health problems. Below are some of the benefits you can experience from this diet.
- Prevents heart disease and strokes. Since the Mediterranean diet limits your intake of refined bread, processed foods, and red meat, it lowers your chances of heart disease.
- Keeps you agile. For older adults, the nutrients found in this diet’s food groups may reduce your risk of muscle weakness by 70%.
- Reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s. Research suggests this diet may improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood vessel health, which can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
- Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The foods in this diet are high in antioxidants. This can prevent cells from being damaged by oxidative stress, which cuts your risk of Parkinson’s disease by half.
- Increases longevity. Since it reduces your risk of heart disease or cancer, it reduces your risk of death by 20%.
- Protects against type 2 diabetes. The fiber-rich foods enable slow digestion, which prevents blood sugar swings, and helps with weight management.
Eat lots of vegetables. Add peppers and mushrooms to your pizza instead of pepperoni. Try salads with tomatoes, olive oil, and feta cheese.
Don’t skip breakfast. Wake up your digestive system with fruits, whole grains, and other fiber-rich foods to keep you fuller for longer. Oatmeal with almonds and berries is a great option for those with a sweet tooth.
Eat fish twice a week. Tuna, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are incredibly healthy for your heart. Shellfish like mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for your brain and heart.
Cut down on meat and dairy. Try “Meatless Mondays” to help cut down on meat consumption. Limiting dairy can help cut down on unhealthy fats and excess calories. Instead, enjoy natural, unprocessed cheese and Greek or plain yogurt.
Make dessert a fruit experience. Instead of ice cream or other baked goods, fill a bowl with strawberries, grapes, or apples.
The Mediterranean diet is full of delicious food options, so you won’t compromise taste for health. Don’t forget to include others, which is a big part of the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Gather with family, invite a friend over to cook with, and don’t forget the red wine. Doing so will surely help you in your health journey.
When improving your diet, choosing the right supplements can go a long way. HeartBeet Complete has beetroot, l-arginine, l-citrulline, and other key vitamins to boost nitric oxide levels and support your heart.
It can help your blood pressure, cholesterol, energy levels, and circulation. Try HeartBeet Complete along with the Mediterranean diet and promote your heart health effectively.