The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seafood, and olive oil, and it limits red meat and sweets. A recent study found links between blood markers of certain nutrients in the Mediterranean diet and mental performance and brain connectivity in older adults.
The researchers of the study used MRI scans to evaluate efficiency in certain brain networks. In addition, instead of using diet surveys — which rely on people’s recall — they measured blood levels of nutrients. During the study, the researchers found lower rates of chronic illnesses and longer lifespan in Mediterranean countries to the dietary and lifestyle traditions of their people.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in nutrients. Its ingredients include
1. Walnuts, fish, and Brussels sprouts which are some of the rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 is abundant in flaxseed, pistachios, pine nuts, and pumpkin seeds.
2. Lycopene, a red pigment that gives tomatoes their color, is present in a few other vegetables and fruits.
3. Eggs, fortified cereals, and certain green vegetables which are typical sources of riboflavin, or vitamin B-2.
4. Sweet potatoes and carrots get their orange color from carotenoids, while folate is a B vitamin present in many types of food, including beans, peas, and nuts.
In 2013, UNESCO added the Mediterranean diet to their Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the United States, the Dietary Guidelines 2015–2020 give the Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern as an example of a healthful diet.