Widely considered as one of the healthiest diets on the planet, the Mediterranean diet can do wonders for your general health and the health of your skin. A favorite of health professionals, its benefits are backed by a huge amount of scientific research. Studies show that following the Mediterranean way of eating lowers blood pressure, balances blood sugar, helps brain health, promotes heart health, keeps bones strong, protects the brain and memory and even extends life-expectancy.   The Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle can also help improve the quality and health of your skin…making you age with beauty and grace…like the people of that region.    Mediterranean people are known for their beautiful skin and laid-back open demeanors.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

There are 16 countries that border the Mediterranean.  They include Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Spain and more…. There is not one specific cuisine that is the Mediterranean diet.  Instead, there are certain characteristics and principles that are consistent in all the cuisines of these countries.  The diets of these regions are based around plenty of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and wholegrains, other key components are fish, olive oil and small amounts of red wine. Limited amounts of unprocessed meat, eggs and dairy are included, and the diet is naturally low in added sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. One of the key features is the healthy sources of fats from foods like fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil. At the same time, it is low in foods containing unhealthy fats such as refined vegetable oils, processed meat, and other processed foods. Many of the foods included have anti-ageing properties, including nourishing and protecting your skin.

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is of course a staple part of the diet, providing healthy monounsaturated fats and believed to be one of the secrets to the superior health of the Mediterranean people. Olive oil is a rich source of a fatty acid called oleic acid, which has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is involved in both ageing and many diseases, so reducing it has anti-ageing benefits. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which have further anti-inflammatory properties, as well as protecting against oxidative damage in the body. Choosing cold-pressed olive oil and eating some of it raw, on salads for example, will ensure the highest antioxidant dose. Olive oil consumption is linked to a range of advantages including a healthy heart and a reduced risk of depression and Alzheimer’s.

Olive oil is also a wonderful ingredient for homemade beauty products, such as hair and facemasks, shampoos and conditioners, Lotion, body oils, and soaps.  It is packed with vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants and is extremely nourishing and moisturizing for your skin and hair.   Olive oil consumed in and out will make your skin youthful and healthy when consumed regularly. 

Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet for Skin Health and Beauty:

1 Reduced Inflammation: 

One of the main benefits you can receive from following a Mediterranean diet is reduced inflammation in the body. Internal and external inflammation can be caused by the body’s response to continuous stimulation of the immune system, something our American diet triggers often with its highly processed foods and high carbohydrate intake. The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is fresh foods, whole grains and healthy fats and proteins which will lower inflammation and can even help skin inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

2 Acne Prevention: 

A Mediterranean diet contains a naturally low glycemic index with fresh ingredients which can help stabilize oil production in skin. A high glycemic index increases inflammation, hormones and oil production which can cause clogged pores and oily skin. Fish, olive oil and vegetables are ideal to help control acne flare ups. 

3 Antioxidants: 

Many foods included in this diet have high levels of antioxidants focusing on the high intake of vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants taken orally through fruits and vegetables can be very effective in keeping skin healthy, supporting collagen, and improving circulation. Antioxidants are essential for fighting against free radicals inside the body, repairing damaged skin and reducing signs of aging. Pairing the Mediterranean diet with topical forms of antioxidants such as a Vitamin C can improve your complexion.

4 Hydration: 

Hydration levels are increased when consuming a Mediterranean diet due to its high-water content. With many of the foods found in this diet having a high percentage of water, it will help to replenish the skin’s natural water retention levels. Additionally, it is important to drink plenty of water for the best results.

5 Prevents Aging:

If you're following the Mediterranean diet properly, you're probably eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like berries and nuts. And these snacks might protect your skin from aging before its time. The Mediterranean diet, rich in Oil, Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients helps to stop cellular damage and protect the skin from Aging prematurely.   

It's a Lifestyle

The Mediterranean Lifestyle encompasses more than the diet itself. The secret is not only in discovering the elements of the perfect diet, but also having the confidence to live life to the fullest, whilst finding the perfect balance in eating, working, and living habits. A diet rich in vegetables, pulses, grains, and olive oil; an active lifestyle with daily, moderate exercise; low overall stress levels; close relationships with friends and family; interaction and being an active part of a community, all greatly contribute to our overall health and well-being and help to shape this distinct lifestyle.

Next time you travel to Morocco, Italy, France Spain, Lebanon, or any of the wonderful Mediterranean countries…Enjoy the Sun, Seabreeze, Food, Cafes, Wine.    Savor the culture and get a first-hand experience with the Warmth of the People.    Imagine, so much simple pleasures from this region and see the benefits of the Food and Lifestyle on your skin, health, and Beauty.