The Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Style Diet

There are so many benefits to eating healthy and exercising. The positive response to such a lifestyle can often seem redundant due to its literally unending chime. Eating healthy allows for a more balanced weight, it offers one much more natural energy, feels good, decreases the chance of many life threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart problems; the list goes on. Likewise, exercise ensures a much more aesthetic physique; enables the joints and your body’s “hardware” to last much longer while more efficiently moving about; it, too, offers a valuable supply of energy; and also keeps the body in a more prime shape, ready to fight against foreign agents such as sickness and disease. Well, here is another gift you can add to the list of immeasurable benefits just by sculpting your lifestyle with diet and exercise: the reduction of the risk of Alzheimer’s. More acutely, sticking to a Mediterranean-type diet, plus the physical activity, you are able to reduce your risk of cognitive decline by up to 60%!

One of the first remarkable studies that led the medical society down the path of Mediterranean diet and exercise to prevent Alzheimer’s was back in 2006 when 1,880 senior men and women, averaging an age of 77 years old, were studied over a period of 5.5 years in New York. Intermittent studies performed every 18 months or so, were designated to chronicle the lifestyles and the results of those who did and did not stick closely to the suggested Mediterranean diet and physical activity. These studies provided hopeful results. Those who engaged in the highest amount of activities showed a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s by 33%. Furthermore, those who most closely revolved around the Mediterranean diet had reduced their risk by 40%. After further observation and clinical trials, it was estimated that the healthy combination of both Mediterranean diet and exercise resulted in an overall 60% risk reduction. Additional studies geared toward finding a relation to the lessened, or slower, decline of cognitivity also produced results that correlated with the benefit of a Mediterranean diet plus exercise.

Being able to have some sort of control in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s should be appealing to us all. Physical activity is a very broad field that does not need to be refined when specifically trying to prevent a mental decline. However, specifically a Mediterranean diet is suggested to promote the best results in this particular matter. So what does that entail? A Mediterranean diet primarily consists of high consumption of fish, with minimal red meat and poultry, a great amount of vegetables, legumes, cereals, nuts, and fruits, low-to-no dairy, and olive oil is used for all cooking purposes-providing the main source of fat. Moderate wine consumption is also part of this diet.

Of course, switching lifestyles at the ripe old age of 77 is not what gets you passed the risk of Alzheimer’s. Perhaps it may help a bit, but a long term lifestyle of health is the golden ticket. As with anything, a long term effect provides more substantial results. It is encouraged to adapt to a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible. If you love food and are not willing to give certain things up; compromise. Increase the fish and the vegetables. Use the olive oil and eliminate the chemicals. Mediterranean flavor is abundant, and for those who like to cook: there are plenty of recipes. A nice brisk walk is complemented perfectly by feeding your body something it naturally needs. The positive effects will be apparent. Why not enjoy these benefits-coherently-for as long as possible?