The Mediterranean Diet PlanThose who are interested in healthy nutrition and its effects on our health must be very well aware about numerous benefits and advantages of the Mediterranean diet. It is a famous type of diet that has been practiced in the countries of the Mediterranean region (Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, etc.) and is based on consuming good amounts of fresh fruit, veggies, fish, beans, seeds, whole grains,  and other healthy natural foods on a daily basis. Using healthy amounts of high quality olive oil for cooking meals and dressing salads is an important distinctive feature of this diet. Another interesting fact is: a Mediterranean diet plan rarely includes traditional desserts like cakes or cookies, and mainly those are fruits (fresh, dried, or cooked) which play a role of desserts. It is considered a very healthy diet, and it is very highly valued by all experts and nutritionists around the world. Read more to find an answer to the question, what is the Mediterranean diet.

Numerous studies have proven positive effects of using a Mediterranean diet plan for our physical and mental health. There are plenty of scientific evidence of the fact that consuming this diet lowers the risk of the most common diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, a stroke, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and others. Recent studies (including the one conducted by a group of Spanish experts and reported the last year in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition) have shown that choosing this diet is a very good decision to prevent common mental disorders like Parkinson’s disease, The Mediterranean DietAlzheimer’s disease and other dementia like brain disorders. However, the scientists are not sure if all the benefits and positive health effects of the Mediterranean diet are known. That is why they continue studying and testing this diet in order to learn more about its properties to support our health and prevent various unwanted health conditions.

Thus, it is reported that a team of experts at Deakin University, St Vincent’s Hospital and Barwon Health, have started their long term research to study the effects of the Mediterranean diet on our psychological health. The main objective of the scientific study is to find out whether choosing a Mediterranean diet plan for our daily diet can be considered a good approach for preventing and possibly treating major depression. This is the first clinical study in the world aiming to establish possible links between consuming the Mediterranean type diet and helping those patients who are suffering from depression and related psychological disorders. For the moment, the researchers have found 200 volunteers, Australian people from Geelong and Melbourne, to participate in the study, and the first stages of the experiments have started.

Diet quality seems to be related to the risk of depression and anxiety,” said Felice Jaka, an Associated Professor and a one of the study leaders. “The Mediterranean diet is very healthy and that’s one that has lots of plant foods and vegetables and fruits, whole grains and fish but our research has indicated that red meat may also be important.” She says that the scientific group is going to look close at the factors that can help find cause-and-effect links and learn how the Mediterranean diet and, in particular, red meat consumption, can assist in relieving the symptoms of depression and related disorders. Fight DepressionJaka underlined that one of the most important question to be answered is about the effects of this diet as an instrument to fight depression for those, who are on the onset stage, and for those who have been already diagnosed with clinical depression.

The study leader is convinced that choosing a Mediterranean diet plan for daily diet will hardly be considered the primary treatment for the health condition, but it could play a role as a supportive approach to preventing depression. There are many medications, natural treatments and herbal remedies for depression, behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and other approaches to help fight depression. However, still a lot of patients can not find an effective treatment option, that is why the scientists are looking at the Mediterranean diet as a nutritional support for everyone who suffers from depression. “We would see this very much as supporting any other sort of therapy that people may be on but for some people it actually may be enough in and of itself,” Jaka said. Stay tuned for the reports about this interesting research of Australian scientists, and remember that healthy eating is the way to healthy and happy living!

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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