Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet - Hybrid
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Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating rather than a strict diet plan. This style of diet emphasizes foods such as fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grains, nuts, herbs and spices. All of these foods are rich with monounsaturated fat, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. Meat, cheese, sugar and processed foods are as limited as possible. One of the other factors that make the Mediterranean diet unique and health-oriented is that it promotes physical activity.

This style of dieting is recommended by doctors such as OB/GYNs, functional medicine doctors and endocrinologists, for women who are trying to improve their hormonal health, especially the ones experiencing amenorrhea (loss of period), irregular cycles, peri-menopause and menopause. Our hormones are created from cholesterol, which we get when we consume foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids and because the Mediterranean diet revolves around good quality fatty acids, it is deemed by health care professionals to be one of the best nutrition approaches for female health. We need a certain amount of essential fatty acids on a daily basis in order to have healthy hormonal production.

For women who are in their 40s or over, the decrease in estrogen can increase the risk of certain health issues. Two of the biggest areas of concern for this style of dieting is brain health and heart health.

Heart Health

Cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol tend to increase around this time in a women’s life (40 and over). The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat and includes heart-protecting foods such as healthy fibre to support cholesterol levels. It is also a highly satiating style of nutrition which often promotes healthy weight maintenance. Since there is also a high volume of vegetables involved, it ensures that we are consuming our essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which are needed to keep our blood pressure in check. Dark leafy greens also contain high amounts of folate which is super important for our hormones. Folate is also recommended for pregnant and postpartum women to help the production of breast milk.

Brain Health

Our brain is responsible for our mood, fogginess, cognitive function and memory. Women tend to struggle in these areas when they reach their 40s, and even women who are pregnant or postpartum, the term “mom-brain” is quite commonly used. Since this style of dieting is high in essential fatty acids from foods such as fish and nuts, there are studies which suggest that it helps in reducing the disk for age-related cognitive decline. The high amount of antioxidants from fruits such as berries and pomegranate, vegetables. herbs and spices help to lower inflammation which is one of the biggest factors of cognitive dysfunction.
Diet alone does not give you optimal health, which is why this nutritional approach strongly recommends exercise as part of your regime aside from eating well. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation, decrease stress and overall keeps the body healthy. A lot of women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and fatigue; all of which exercise and a health-based nutritional approach can help to improve.
Disclaimer: The Mediterranean diet is designed to promote heart, brain and hormonal health specifically for women. This is not designed to be based around weight loss or body composition.
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