It’s one of the world’s oldest cuisines, and there’s a reason it’s still considered a healthy choice among the fitness community. Mediterranean diet has already proven to be quite beneficial in the fight against cholesterol, bone weakness and has also shown as helping reduce the chance of developing cancer. It is also a crowd favorite because of its reputation for being a light and fresh cuisine. A typical Mediterranean diet includes ingredients such as chickpeas, fresh fish, olive oil, light cheeses, and red wine. People who have switched to this style of eating say that they’ll never eat any other way.

A recent August 2017 study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society confirmed that older people who consume a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce their risk of cognitive decline. The researchers analyzed the diets of a representative group of 5,900 individuals whose average age was 67. As a part of the study, the subjects underwent cognitive testing involving mostly memory and attention skills.

With the most simple ingredients, Mediterranean meals are a breeze to make and are equally scrumptious

The researchers found that those whose eating habits came closest to the Mediterranean diet or related to the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH diet Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay) did the best on the cognitive tests. The MIND diet melds the Mediterranean diet and the anti-hypertension and heart-friendly DASH diet, both of which have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease. These diets are designed to feature the key components that a Mediterranean diet comprises of. That means lots of vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine while limiting red meat, fried or fast foods, butter, stick margarine, cheese, and pastries and other sweets.

Here’s what you need to plate up to the Greeks:

The first and very essential component of a Mediterranean meal is the abundance and variety of plant foods. You need to consume at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits in a day. Wheat, oats, barley, rice, and rye can be consumed in their whole grain form or in the form of bread, cereal or pasta. This should constitute for 2 servings in your daily meal.

If you have a penchant for nuts, then, by all means, go nuts! They take up a good chunk of a Mediterranean diet and can be used as a quick snack or in the form of spreads and dips. Keep almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts at hand. Peanut butter and tahini also go really well with the whole-grain bread.

Eating foods featuring the Mediterranean or the MIND diet are linked to a lower risk for memory and cognitive difficulties in older adults

With the most simple ingredients, Mediterranean meals are a breeze to make and are equally scrumptious
And what’s Mediterranean cuisine without olive oil? Olive and canola oil are the best substitutes for butter and margarine.Use these oils for cooking or as salad dressings. In case you are using animal fats, such as butter or cream, do so in moderation. When cooking meat too, cut off the fat from red meats and meat products such as sausages, pies, and bacon.

Fish is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Choose from salmon, trout, herring, and sardines. You can use them any way you want-smoked, frozen, and canned varieties all count. Try and have fish at least once or twice in a week to take in the necessary Omega-3-fatty acids.

Wine and Mediterranean food go hand-in-hand. Drinking in moderation has shown to have protective health effects as it reduces stress to a great extent. And more than that it goes so perfectly well with any Mediterranean dish. But limit your consumption to one to two units in a day.

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