I like wine. Well, okay, I love wine. Red wine. Cabernet. Malbec. Sangiovese. Those are three of my favorite things. I also like salads, chicken, olive oil, and nuts. I’m pretty much describing the Mediterranean diet, something that I’d heard about and never looked into. However, a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine caught my attention.
It turns out that, “Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events” in the study’s participants. The reduction in cardiovascular disease was up to 30 percent.
Let’s get to the wine, though. Those in the Mediterranean diet group in the study were told they could drink at least seven glasses of wine a week with their meals. The key phrase here is “at least.” Moderation with anything is usually the correct path to take; however, what’s moderate for one person (or society) may be too much or too little for others. One study showed that residents of the Greek Island Ikaria drink up to four glasses of wine a day and live long, healthy lives.
If you’re going to have a long and healthy life, then you surely want to have a fully functional brain. The Mediterranean diet has that covered, too. According to a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study, the diet can preserve memory.
“The study found that in healthy people, those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet were 19 percent less likely to develop problems with their thinking and memory skills,” Bob Shepard reported for UAB News.
(Of course, if you want to help improve your memory, you can always make a fist. Researchers at Montclair State University found that clenching your right hand helps form stronger memories, while clenching your left hand helps with recollection.)
Because of all these recent studies, I’m working on making the Mediterranean diet more a part of my lifestyle. It should be easy. I already have the wine part down.
– By Jason Hensel
(Image via Flickr: Jeremy Keith/Creative Commons)