Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

One of the healthiest diets in the world is believed to be the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is high in:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • fish
  • olive oil

Recent research suggests this diet is especially beneficial for children:

A "Mediterranean" diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts protects against allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms.

Children who ate nuts at least three times a week were less likely to wheeze. Nuts are a rich source of vitamin E, the body’s primary defence against cellular damage caused by free radicals. And they contain high levels of magnesium, which other research suggests, may protect against asthma and boost lung power.

And a daily diet of oranges, apples, and tomatoes also protected against wheezing and allergic rhinitis. Grapes in particular seemed to protect against current and previous wheezing and allergic rhinitis, even after adjusting for other potentially influential factors. Red grape skin contains high levels of antioxidants as well as resveratrol, a potent polyphenol, known to curb inflammatory activity, say the authors.

It’s not suprising that this kind of diet is healthy. Of course we should all be eating lots of fruit and vegetables and unprocessed foods. It’s not only common sense but also a Government recommendation:

Eating plenty of fruit and vegies not only contributes to good health, but also protects against a number of diseases and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Most Australians eat only half the amount of fruit and vegies recommended for good health. Adults need to eat at least 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegies each day. The amount children need depends on their age.

For most of us, we just need to add a couple more servings of fresh food daily and we’ll be right but don’t forget the fish, nuts, and olive oil to get the real benefits of the Mediterranean diet.