Is This the Best Diet on the Planet? Scientists Say Yes!

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The Mediterranean diet scored another victory as researchers announced that it can improve brain function and even help you live longer.

Study Shows Mediterranean Diet Can Restore Gut

A recent study published this week in a medical journal revealed that one year of following the Mediterranean diet helped dramatically improve the gut microbiome, leading to a large number of health benefits in the elderly subjects studied.

The gut microbiome is linked to the way our digestive system functions, but its influence spreads far beyond that. If the wrong bacteria become overgrown in the gut–or not enough good bacteria are present—problems like mental confusion and weakened immune systems ensue.

How to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is, as the name suggests, inspired by the traditional diets found in Italy and Greece. It emphasizes vegetables, healthy fats, and fresh ingredients. Here are the basics you need to know in order to eat what scientists are calling the world’s healthiest diet!

  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds
  • Season with herbs and spices
  • Eat a moderate amount of fish, but limit poultry and eggs
  • Use olive oil liberally
  • Eat beans, potatoes, and whole grains in moderate servings
  • Limit your consumption of dairy, such as yogurt and cheese
  • Avoid red meat
  • Indulge in a little red wine
  • Cut out added sugars, processed foods

A typical Mediterranean-style meal might include a simple salad topped with salmon or a small serving of whole-grain pasta with grilled vegetables. Ideally, your plate should be at least half veggies, with the rest made up of lean protein and carbohydrates.

If you’re worried about how much time you need to spend in the kitchen, you can use meal prep techniques to make tasty, healthful dishes in larger batches to enjoy throughout the week.

If you’re curious about trying this diet out for yourself, remember to talk with your doctor first.