Adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, one meal at a time

The health benefits of this diet are well known. Here are some tips to fit it into your lifestyle.

Published: June, 2020

The Mediterranean diet is already something of a star in the health world. Numerous studies have linked this dietary pattern with health benefits ranging from a lower risk of heart disease to a reduction in certain cancers. Now there may be another benefit to add to the list: improvements to the gut microbiome, the name for the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microorganisms that live in a person's digestive tract.

A study published online February 17 by the journal Gut looked at a group of more than 600 older adults in five countries. The authors found that those who switched to the Mediterranean diet and did the best job sticking to it for a year showed positive changes in their gut microbiome. What's more, the changes were linked to a number of improvements in health, including less risk of frailty and better cognitive function. The researchers also found a drop in blood markers that can indicate chronic inflammation inside the body.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »