Two recent scientific studies, independent of one another have discovered that the Mediterranean diet has some major health benefits.
In addition, the Mediterranean diet has being found to be a heart-healthy eating plan, credited with lowering cholesterol in men, even among those who didn’t lose weight. Researchers have shown again that the Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts could improve brain power of older people. Researchers at the University of Navarra in Spain reported that the Mediterranean diet could provide even more mental health benefits than a low-fat diet. The study found that those on either of the Mediterranean diets scored higher than those on the low fat diet.
By comparison to the low-fat diet, the Mediterranean diet is characterized by its use of virgin olive oil as the main culinary fat. It also includes a high consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes, as well as moderate to high consumption of fish and seafood. This diet typically consists of low consumption of dairy products and red meat, but includes the moderate intake of red wine.
Additionally, the findings held true irrespective of other factors, including age, family history of cognitive impairment or dementia, or the presence of ApoE protein which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These findings also noted educational attainment, exercise levels and vascular risk factors, as well as energy intake and depression.
Past research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers the risk of overall cardiovascular mortality as well as reduced incidence of stroke and cancer, research has shown that it has also reduced the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The other team of researchers at the Ohio State University discovered a compound that re-educates cancer cells - teaching them to die on time like normal cells.
The research team identified a plant-based compound apigenin as a cancer preventer. The compound was found to bind with an estimated 160 proteins in the human body. Once there, the apigenin “re-educates” forming cancer cells and stops them from inhibiting their own death.
Breast cancer, in particular, seemed to be very responsive to such preventative treatment. Apigenin is found most commonly in chamomile tea, parsley and celery — but can also be obtained from many other fruits and veggies common to a Mediterranean diet.
This should be of no surprise to anyone adhering to a healthy eating regime. Andrea Doseff an associate professor and co-author of the Ohio State study, put into words precisely why these scientific discoveries are important:
"We know we need to eat healthfully, but in most cases we don't know the actual mechanistic reasons for why we need to do that."
Scientific evidence lets us know that these foods aren't just hype or a passing trend. Their benefits are rooted in actual, measurable chemical reactions within our bodies. Reactions that utilize good, old-fashioned home remedies to create a healthier, cancer fighting humanity of tomorrow.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !