What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Mediterranean? Is it the gorgeous sunny sceneries? The Greco-Italic culture? Or the lovely and delicious food? Well, there’s definitely much that the Mediterranean has to offer, but they are definitely known for their lovely cuisine. Not only is Mediterranean food known for having a plethora of different flavors, but it’s also known for being the most “healthy.”
In the 1960s, studies and research have shown that most of the population living in countries situated close to the Mediterranean sea have lower death rates related to coronary heart disease. Much of the study shows that this is linked to the low death rate related to coronary heart disease to the diet of the individuals in the area.
As the decades pass, clinical studies have shown that this type of diet helps boost brain function and delay the deterioration of cognitive abilities, which is prevalent among older individuals.
But compared to other types of diets, how does the Mediterranean diet hold up? What are some benefits of it? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
What Composes the Mediterranean Diet?
There’s really no “official” list of ingredients defined by the Mediterranean diet since this “meal plan” usually refers to its cuisine. However, some of the most abundant food sources in the area are usually part of the diet, which include:
- Fish and Seafood – Much fatty fish are rich in nutrients that help reduce the decline of brain function. It’s known that 40% of the brain is comprised of omega-3, which makes this fat vital for learning and development. Most experts would suggest salmon, herring, and tuna.
- Olive Oil – This is quite iconic in Mediterranean cuisine and has numerous benefits to both the body and the mind. Being rich in anti-inflammatory properties can help enhance brain function. This is usually used in salads.
- Legumes – Almonds and a variety of different nuts are also quite high with omega-3 fats, which can help with the onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. ;
- Wine – Lastly, a little bit of wine can help with overall brain function. It’s also known for flushing out inflammation and cleaning toxins. Still, you’ll need to drink moderately.
It’s important to note that even though much of these types of food are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and protein, some seafood types are often rich in mercury. Most individuals should be careful when consuming foods high in mercury since long-term exposure could lead to disabilities. If you have had long-term exposure, which has lead to neurological disabilities or any disability at all, you might want to try Social Security disability.
However, the process of applying can time-consuming. Fortunately, some companies are well-versed in expediting Social Security disability applications. This will help frustrations that you might have when it comes to claiming benefits.
The Mediterranean Diet and Your Nervous System
We have to take a look at how the Mediterranean diet helps boost brain function among individuals. While most diets are focused on improving physical prowess and cutting down on weight, the Mediterranean diet not only helps with overall weight, but it’s also known to alleviate symptoms of deterioration related to age.
To make much of the long story short, around 447 participants were around 55 to 80 years of age and were divided into three groups. Each group followed a particular diet, with the Mediterranean diet being one of them. In the next few years, the overall cognitive ability of those that used the Mediterranean became stronger than the other groups.
Much would attribute this to the olive oil and legumes that are used as ingredients. Not only are these known for being antioxidants, but they can also help relieve inflammation, which is a contributing factor to cognitive decline.
The Mediterranean diet is definitely a great way of boosting brain function while still being a healthy substitute to high-calorie and fatty diets that might be detrimental to the body. There’s really no one way of doing this type of diet as it’s usually based on the cuisine that people eat in the Mediterranean. The bottom line? You have to relax, enjoy some good food, and drink some fine wine, just like most individuals living close to the Mediterranean sea.