For many years the Mediterranean region has been associated with superior physical health. A study found that the consumption of oil-rich Mediterranean foods, such as fish and seafood, helps to improve overall well-being.
A Mediterranean diet, which is one that has a regular intake of fruit, vegetables, pulses, fish, olive oil and nuts, has been proven to lessen the chances of chronic illness. Regions where people subside on it also have a lower death rate. However, they are not clear yet on how it effects mental and physical well-being. Olive oil is the main source of fat for nutritional quality and moderate consumption of wine is recommended, as well as fish, lean meat and eggs, all are found in Mediterranean diets.
The researchers, from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Navarra in Spain, conducted a four-year study of the eating habits of more than 11,000 university students. Dietary intake data was taken at the beginning of the study and self-perceived quality of life was measured after the four year period. To determine whether the Mediterranean diet was followed, consumption of vegetables, pulses, fruit, nuts, cereals and fish were positively rated on a questionnaire and meat, dairy products and alcohol were negatively valued. Results showed those who stuck more to the Mediterranean diet scored higher on the quality of life questionnaire in terms of physical and mental well-being, with the link to physical well-being even stronger.
So next time you go to lunch or dinner, maybe you should opt for the meze platter, it may just be a life saver!