The benefits of the Mediterranean diet
For decades, the Mediterranean region has captured researchers’ attention because a significant proportion of the local population lives healthier into old age. While daily movement and a strong sense of community certainly help support longevity, the Mediterranean diet itself is also a key contributor to healthy aging.
In fact, by practicing these five Mediterranean eating habits, you too can help tilt the odds in favor of a long and healthy life, regardless of the place you call home.
1. Base your diet around minimally-processed foods.
The traditional Mediterranean diet developed before the age of fast food and microwave meals. Instead, this historic and treasured eating pattern features scratch cooked meals made from minimally-processed ingredients close to the earth. The more we learn about nutrition science, the more we see how this approach to eating may be good for our health as well.
Examples of minimally-processed ingredients include whole grains (brown rice, oats, farro, quinoa), fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans. Try starting your day with a warm bowl of oatmeal made from plain oats and sweetened with fresh fruits, instead of sugary prepackaged pastries or snack bars. For your afternoon snack, try a handful of unsalted almonds or cashews in place of chips.