5 Reasons to Try the Mediterranean Diet

With summer rapidly approaching, we're all looking for ways to slim down and get beach ready. Well, this May marks Mediterranean Diet month-a celebration of healthy eating! The diet, created by Age Management Specialist Dr. John Pierce based on the eating habits found in the the Mediterranean region, places an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes found in that part of the world. It limits red meat and dairy consumption, as well cuts back on salt and sugar. Need more convincing? Here are some of its health and weight loss benefits.

It Keeps You Heart Healthy This diet is filled with healthy fats, such as olive oil and omega-3 laden fish, which will help monitor blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease.

It Helps Prevent Cancer Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and spinach) and legumes (like chickpeas and lentils), are known as cancer-fighting foods because they are packed with antioxidants.

It Boosts Testoserone You can help get your man on board with this one! According to Dr. Pierce's study, men who consume more Omega-3s have increased testosterone. Leafy greens can also positively impact the prostate.

It Can Help You Lose Weight The diet helps you choose foods that are beneficial to your waistline. "Typical Mediterranean diet meals have inherently healthy ingredients such as vegetables and whole grains," says Dr. Pierce. "Part of the obesity epidemic stems from consuming processed meals over fresh foods."

It Cuts Chronic Diseases Statistics show that chronic conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease are less in populations that stick to a Mediterranean diet. The plant-based food plan with a breakdown of 50 percent produce, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent whole grain offers a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle.

Will you be trying out the Mediterranean Diet for summer?

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.