The fitness world loves a diet trend, but discerning between the fads and those that actually promise lasting, sustainable results can be a difficult challenge. Where it used to be the case that food was just fuel, now science is looking at the myriad ways we can enhance such fuel stores. Which are more suited to the physical performance you want to get out of yourself, what are the health benefits, do you want it activated with charcoal or sans grains? It’s hardly surprising that we’re living in a diet-obsessed culture with a new Netflix documentary seemingly emerging every other month just to dispel the myths surrounding a diet routine or convince you to uptake it. When it comes to the Mediterranean diet, this is one that has long been celebrated.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Mediterranean diet, it’s one that is a particularly great option for those seeking to maintain a healthy weight. In studies that analysed the eating strategies of real-world eaters, it was found to have the highest adherence rate with 57 per cent, with those eating that way losing an average of 4.58kg, as well as seeing notable improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. Consider things like fresh seafood, light salads, and nourishing grains.
But while the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have long been known, far fewer people know just how good the diet is for other areas of health - like your sex life. But according to new observational studies, it appears the diet high in legumes, fruit and vegetables isn’t just good for heart health and lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia. It turns out the Mediterranean diet can also benefit your sex life by helping with erectile dysfunction?
Don’t believe us? According to research presented at this year’s European Society of Cardiology congress, men with high blood pressure were seen as twice as more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers with normal blood pressure. So, just where does the Mediterranean diet come in then?
According to the researchers, those men that closely followed the Mediterranean diet had higher coronary flow reserve (meaning they were better able to increase blood flow when needed) and better erectile performance. It’s largely thanks to the diet which, aside from encouraging people to eat more fruits and vegetables, also limits red meat intake to a recommended two servings only per week. This makes it fantastic for lowering blood pressure and is also better for the environment, too.
If all that wasn’t enough to see you jump ship to the Mediterranean diet immediately, just wait: it gets better. In 2014, Spanish researcher Fernando Azpiroz examined the diet and found it can also reduce the incidence of farting by 28 per cent. So, excuse us as we go order a Greek salad.