I have written a couple articles on the benefits of the Ikarian diet as secret to longevity. Ikaria is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and is known as a place where people forget to die. Ikarians tend to live longer and healthier lives. This is where four in ten people reach the ripe age of 100 years with their minds still intact. So, I was tickled to read a well written article by Korin Miller who is with Yahoo Beauty – The Mediterranean Diet Might Be the Secret to Living Longer — and Better. She presents a convincing argument in support of adopting in whole or in part the Mediterranean diet.
I will highlight a few points – but I recommend you read the entire article for yourself.
- The Mediterranean diet scores high on the healthy meter. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and olive oil. Korin presents more research results that further show added benefits to following this healthy eating plan; such as lowering the risk of having memory loss as you get older.
- Researchers have found that older people who eat a Mediterranean diet tend to score better on brain function activity tests than those who eat less healthy diets.
- The MIND diet is all about brain-friendly foods. It stresses 10 brain-healthy foods which are found in the Mediterranean or are a hybrid of the diet. Researchers have found that the MIND diet slightly outperforms the DASH diet which emphasizes healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). The DASH diet is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and low in sodium. However, both diets score better in brain function tests compared to those who less healthy diets.
- The MIND and DASH diets are both typically rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals and other compounds that promote good heart health. And these diets provide benefits to the brain, particularly on the aged. Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory effects that are good for long-term brain health.
- As I pointed out in my previous article, the Ikarians live longer because they shun processed foods. Their longevity is attributed to their integrated lifestyle which consists of eating healthy food, a good dose of exercise and socializing – hence living a stress free life. Furthermore, both the MIND and DASH diets minimize fast foods, snacks, and red meat, and stress healthy eating habits overall.
- There is a saying that you are what you eat. The foods we eat have a dramatic effect on our mind and body. Studies have shown that both the Mediterranean and MIND diets contain nutrients that have been proven to be good for the body, the waistline, and, in some cases improve memory and slow down its decline and potentially ward off Alzheimer’s disease!
- The Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of developing heart disease, which is responsible for one in four deaths in the U.S.
In the Ikarian diet article, I have provided diet plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. They can be found here. Check them out. My family and I have fully adopted the Ikarian diet. I feel good each morning I wake up and as an aside; my waistline has shrunk considerably and have dropped a few kilos to boot!