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Mediterranean Diet: 5 benefits that you (perhaps) do not yet know.

There are more and more studies that show how the Mediterranean diet is able to help the body to preserve health.

One of the great advantages is the presence in a great variety of micro and macronutrients that have an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, useful for protecting against various ailments and diseases”, says Valentina Schirò, nutrition biologist and specialist in food science. With the help of the expert, let’s see in detail what benefits it has that you may not yet know.

1. Keeps the mind active.
The Mediterranean diet has proven to be an excellent ally for brain health. “Vegetables, fruit, extra virgin olive oil and many other symbolic foods of this diet have a real neuroprotective action. They are in fact able to defend neurons, brain cells from cognitive decline. Tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes, for example, are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that improves circulation and protects against premature aging, helping the mind to remain efficient even with advancing age”.

2. Makes you happy.
A study published a few years ago in the journal Plos One “A brief diet intervention can reduce symptoms of depression in young adults – A randomized controlled trial” highlighted how a diet similar to the Mediterranean one is able to reduce the symptoms of depression. “Legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, whole grains, milk and its derivatives, eggs, fish and lean meat are foods rich in essential amino acids such as tryptophan that facilitate the production of serotonin, the good mood hormone . They also ensure many vitamins of the B complex and other substances that are allies of emotional well-being that favor their production, “says the expert.

3. Protects from pollution.
A recent study conducted by New York University highlighted the protective action of the Mediterranean diet against pollution. «The credit is due to the richness of antioxidants, present in abundance in foods such as vegetables and seasonal fruit. These substances block the action of free radicals and counteract the oxidative stress caused by exposure to pollutants “.

4. Promotes liver health.
Research conducted by the Italian Diabetes Society Sid at the Federico II University of Naples showed that the Mediterranean diet reduces fatty liver (fatty liver), a very common problem due to the accumulation of triglycerides in liver cells. “Vegetables and fruit are particularly rich in vitamins and polyphenols that promote the elimination of toxins and the digestion of fats,” says the expert. Another category of useful nutrients are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that protect liver function. «The former are abundantly present in legumes, nuts and milk. The polyunsaturated ones, on the other hand, are found in fish and oil “.
5. It makes the immune system strong.

A European study recently conducted by a group of universities, including the universities of Bologna and Florence, revealed that the Mediterranean diet is also an excellent ally of the immune system. “Thanks to the richness of probiotics, beneficial microorganisms that increase the number of intestinal bacteria present for example in yogurt and prebiotic fibers contained in foods such as apples, pears, onions and many other vegetables, it helps to keep the intestinal microbiota, where most of the body’s defenses are concentrated ».

Source: Angela Altomare – Vanityfair.

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