Longevity and The Mediterranean Diet

Longevity and The Mediterranean Diet

Six Reasons Why the Mediterranean Diet Contributes to a Longer, Healthier Life

Over the course of many generations, observers have been able to discern that the people who populate the region around the Mediterranean Sea live longer lives than do men and women in some other parts of the world. Historically, the reason most often attributed to the longevity of the people of the Mediterranean region was climate. However, as researchers became more adept and as scientific methods became more sophisticated, it became clear that while the weather patterns of the Mediterranean area generally were pleasant and inviting, it was the diet of the people in the region that accounted for their longer lives.

There are a number of specific factors related to the Mediterranean diet that nutritionists and medical experts believe contribute to longevity. The more important of these elements are discussed within the confines of this article for your information and guidance.

1. Restorative Effects of the Mediterranean Diet

Many of the specific food items that are part of a Mediterranean diet regimen are high in anti-oxidants. Scientifically speaking, anti-oxidants are important compounds found in certain foods and beverages that work to neutralize the destructive nature of oxidants or free radicals that are found in the human body. Oxidants or free radicals are produced when the body burns oxygen to produce energy. In other words, oxidants really can be considered waste that pollutes the human body.

Over time, the accumulation of oxidants in the body accelerates the aging process. Cells wear and lose their elasticity. Organs end up functioning less efficiently and effectively. Indeed, recent scientific research has demonstrated that oxidants clog arteries raising the threat of stroke. Oxidants are found to contribute to cancer, heart disease and diabetes — the major diseases most responsible for causing people to have premature deaths.

The types of fruits and vegetables that form the foundation of the Mediterranean diet — including richly colored and leafy green vegetables — which are high in anti-oxidants, have a restorative and life prolonging effect on the typical human body.

2. Reducing Cancer Risks

In most parts of the world, cancer of various types is the leading cause of premature death. Studies undertaken by researchers in Europe, Japan and the United States in the past thirty years have demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet effectively reduces the risks of certain types of cancers.

A diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables has been shown to be effective in reducing the risks of a wide array of different types of cancers. As has been noted previously, the Mediterranean diet includes the generous consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Mediterranean diet includes very little animal fat. There is a direct link between the consumption of animal fat and colorectal cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease that oftentimes takes the lives of people in their forties and fifties.

Olive oil (truly the foundation of the Mediterranean diet) had been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

By reducing the risks poised by cancer, the lifespan of men and women has been shown to increase appreciably in studies that have followed groups of people over time.

3. Reducing Coronary Heart Disease Risks

Coronary heart disease is one of the top three causes of premature death throughout the world — except in the Mediterranean region. Researchers have concluded that diet has played a large and important role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease amongst the people who populate the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

An important study in seven countries (Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Finland, United States, Netherlands and Japan) demonstrated that those people who followed a Mediterranean diet regimen were less likely to have coronary heart disease and were less likely to have their lives cut short because of serious and ultimately fatal heart conditions.

4. Reducing Hypertension

On some level, the jury is still out on the direct effects between diet and hypertension or high blood pressure. With that said, it clearly has been demonstrated that hypertension and high blood pressure is responsible for premature deaths the world over. In addition, there is strong evidence to suggest that eliminating certain items from a diet — like processed salts — can work to reduce the risk of hypertension.

Additionally, there is evidence to support the proposition that a diet high in fiber and low in animal fats (like that of the Mediterranean region) works to reduce the threat of hypertension and premature death from this disease.

5. Diabetes Prevention and Control

The Mediterranean diet is well suited to staving off the serious effects of diabetes. The incidence of premature death because of diabetes is lower in those regions in which the Mediterranean diet is practiced. Because diabetes is a disease that can be controlled through diet, electing to utilize the Mediterranean regimen can work to add literally years to a person’s life.

6. The Cumulative Effect of the Mediterranean Diet

It is important to note that the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet appear to be cumulative over time. In the other words, the longer a person practices the dining habits of the Mediterranean plan, more of inherent physical benefits of this healthy eating regimen will be ingrained into a person’s makeup. Simply put, the benefits of a Mediterranean diet literally are stored up over time, increasing a person’s lifespan and adding to his or her overall health and well being not only now but well into the future.

Paleo Diet For A Healthy Living

Paleo Diet For A Healthy Living

While Paleo diet is not yet as popular as Atkins, South Beach, and the other publicly-clamored weight loss dietary regimens, it is in certain aspects even more beneficial than the others, not only in weight loss but in overall health. The objective of consuming Paleo snacks and meals is to mimic the eating habits of early cavemen during the Paleolithic era. This ensures healthy living, physical fitness, as well as prevention of health risks and hazards associated with the consumption of manufactured or processed food items. Other benefits that the diet offers include weight loss, fiber to help in cleansing, etc.

These amazing benefits include the following:

– Weight loss. Paleo diet can help reduce or eliminate excess body fats to help you bring about healthy weight loss. Not only does it encourage weight loss but regularly consuming paleo snacks and meals would also be helpful in regulating and preventing the accumulation of excess fat deposits or bad cholesterol. The diet involves very minimal intake of carbohydrates, sugar, cholesterol, and other fat-producing food elements, which will help incredibly in weight loss. The lack of fat and carbohydrates in the diet allows the body to fight against weight gain and encourage healthy weight loss. Weight loss is a major part of the diet. While it was not designed specifically for weight loss, it is a major factor that contributes to many of the health benefits that Paleo diet offers.

– Disease prevention. Aside from just weight loss, the diet also helps in preventing numerous health problems related to aging and more importantly, poor diet. Some examples include heart diseases, numerous kinds of cancers, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. A lot of diseases can be prevented with Paleo diet because of the way the Paleo diet encourages healthy weight loss by cutting down on the fat and increasing fat loss. This is extremely helping in lowering risks of diseases such as cardic diseases, and diabetes. Eating Paleo diet does not promise disease prevention, but the principle works by strengthening an individual’s immune systems and lowering body fat to ensure better health.

– Healthy Living. When the body and all its parts are healthy and properly functioning at high levels, the ultimate benefit will be the enjoyment of a longer life and youthful look. With the paleo diet, the many benefits of increasing intake of natural foods and decreasing intake of processed foods will help lead to a healthier lifestyle. With the diet encouraging healthy weight loss, your risk of potential diseases that are generally caused by an excess of fat is greatly reduced. With the weight loss, mostly from fat, your body will also be slimmer and a lot more toned. The beach body is just an added bonus, while the most important benefit will be the lowering of health risks.

– A Filling Diet. Paleo snacks and meals are not concerned with quantity or volume, but with the type of foods and ingredients consumed. This is a refreshingly new outtake on dieting. Most other diets try to limit the consumption of foods, whereas this diet allows you to eat foods you want, as long as they are natural and fresh. The diet does not try to limit the sizes of your meals, but improves your health by encouraging consumption of natural foods. Also with increased protein and fiber, you will have an increased feeling of being full. This causes you to eat less, which leads to more fat loss, in turn leading to healthy weight loss. You will be eating less, but note that this is different from starving yourself. You are eating less because you are feeling more full, not because you are forcing yourself to eat less. Not only that, you save money by spending less on food! Unless, of course food is your one true love, then spend as much as you want on it.

– Increase Energy Output. One noticeable side-effects of most weight-loss or vegetarian diet is the reduction in the amount of energy the body can produce. People observing these forms of diet are weaker and lack in energy. The diet does not take away carbohydrates, sugar, and fats essential in providing the body with energy to work, move, and think. Instead, since there is no restriction on the diet, it has complete alternatives or substitutes to the food items that should have been consumed for providing energy. Even without eating complete meals, consuming paleo snacks in between meals can ensure that there’s a steady source of energy or nutrition all throughout the day. Although Paleo diet is able to help encourage weight loss, it does so not by significantly limiting the amount of food you eat, but by having a increased protein, low carb diet. So even with increased loss in fat resulting in healthy weight loss, you will have more than enough energy to do your daily tasks.

– Cleansing Diet. A crucial part of the paleo diet is the intake of natural greens and veggies. With such emphasis on the veggie part of the diet, there will be a significant increase in the intake of fiber. Dietary fibers are essential in cleansing the body of toxins and regulate bowel movement. The nuts, fruits, and vegetable food groups present in the paleo diet and paleo snacks would provide sufficient amount of fibers beneficial for body cleansing. The increased intake of both soluble and insoluble fiber is very beneficial to a healthy lifestyle.

The Paleo diet is very helpful in maintaing and improving health with the foods in it. Learn more about the health benefits.