The health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet are not news to us – the concept has been around for years and it’s easy to adopt. However, while you may have a vague sense that this is a healthier way of life, perhaps you don’t know exactly what those benefits are or precisely how to start tailoring your diet this way.
A 2008 study by the University of Florence, published in The British Medical Journal, found that those who stick with this style of diet are more likely to live longer, and less likely to die from heart disease, stroke or cancer or to develop cancer, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. It also found that they are 9% less likely to die young, and that by adopting the diet they showed significant improvements in overall health.
After all your careful planning to make sure you have enough money to live on in retirement, you want to make sure you’re in good health to truly enjoy it and get the best out of it.
Here are the six key elements of this kind of diet:
1. Eat plenty of wholegrain starchy foods. These include wholewheat bread and pasta, as well as legumes and beans.
2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Aim to eat a rainbow on your plate, especially those high in antioxidants such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and spinach.
3. Eat more fish. Fish is excellent for both brain and body, as well as being lean.
4. Eat less meat. This pertains primarily to red meat, as it is the highest in fat and cholesterol.
5. Choose products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil. Olive oil, nuts, and avocados all contain ‘good’ fats which regulate your hormones and weight.
6. Drink plenty of water – at least 8 glasses a day. Hydration is vital in any diet, and most people don’t drink sufficient water daily.
Making these simple changes can create a world of good, and bring you one step further to enjoying a life of wealth, health and happiness.