One of the best things you can do is to eat a diet that can help slow down the aging process like the Mediterranean diet. The interest on this diet sparked because people who live in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea have one of the lowest rates of coronary heart disease. It is also believed that these people had the greatest longevity. This remains true even if there is a variation among the cultures and diets within the region. So, what’s so special about the Mediterranean diet? This diet generally focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil and fish. People who live on this side of the world didn’t really fill their diets with saturated fats, refined sugars and meat. Obviously, these people know a thing or two about healthy eating.
Let’s take a look at the anti aging benefits of the main components of the Mediterranean diet:
Whole grains contain the outer layer, the starchy endosperm and the vitamin-laden inner germ. Since these grains are not refined, the fiber which is linked to longevity remains intact. Whole grains also contain vitamins B and E. Vitamin E is a known antioxidant that can help undo the damage caused by free radicals. Eating good quality whole grains will help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your chances of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
-Fruits and Veggies
Eating loads of fruits and vegetables will provide sufficient amounts of phytochemicals that our bodies need to maintain good health and fight certain diseases. To get the full benefits of this food group, make sure half of your plate is made up of fruits and vegetables for every meal. The recommended allowance is 2 1/2 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits a day, depending on your activity level.
The fat that nuts contain is not saturated so don’t worry too much about gaining weight if you start incorporating them into your diet. Eating nuts can also help prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids that can help combat the signs of aging. These fatty acids also protect your heart; lower your risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating two servings of fish a week is highly recommended. Go for tuna, salmon or lake trout. If you are not a big fan of fish, you can ask your doctor if you need to take fish oil supplements.
The Mediterranean people love olive oil because it is heart-healthy. You can also go for other plant-based oils such as sunflower, soybean or safflower. Stay away from solid sources of fat that contain polyunsaturated fats like butter and margarine.