Foods of the Mediterranean diet: Garlic and Mediterranean legumes


Mediterranean diet


The Mediterranean diet is a dietary regime derived from the one followed by the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean region. It is characterized by many healthy constituents, among which are cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, olives, and white meat. Many studies suggest that this dietary regime is the key to obtaining a healthy and long life, like that of the Mediterranean peoples. Despite its popularity among health professionals, this diet is still confined to a certain geographical area of the world. Due to globalization and the modern busy lifestyle, this cultural diet is losing ground even in its home region, with more and more people embracing the so-called Western diet. An awareness of health benefits of the individual components of the Mediterranean diet will therefore draw attention from all over the world to this healthy and affordable dietary pattern, which can not only improve the overall health, but also reduce the risk of developing chronic and infectious diseases. In this regard, garlic and Mediterranean legumes present a huge repertoire of phytochemicals having both nutritive and nutraceutical properties, which therefore should be included in our daily dietary routines in moderate proportions. This narrative review aims at summarizing the principal components and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, in particular of garlic and legumes


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