It has long been said that a Mediterranean diet, or more specifically a Greek diet, is good for your heart because of the abundance of leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, cereals, beans and olive oil. But studies show that it offers even more than that.

Here are other benefits of a Greek diet that you might not be aware of.

Get better memory

If you think that your memory is starting to fail you, like when you forgot that Olive Garden is offering a great deal on restaurant franchise opportunities, perhaps it’s time you try out the Greek diet.

Findings show that it helps improve people’s memory and even slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease in some patients.

The reason behind this is that the abundance of leafy vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, cereals and healthy fats all contribute to the preservation of a person’s cognitive functions. Also, the overall health benefit of a Greek diet helps a person have a better functioning nervous system.

Curb depression

happy people

Another hidden benefit of a Greek diet is its ability to treat depression and help improve the mental health of some individuals. The Greek diet’s plant-rich ingredients are again said to be the factor in treating depression.

According to scientists, following a plant-rich diet, more specifically a Greek diet, is more likely to enable people with depression to improve their mental health as compared to those who don’t do so.

Another factor that contributes to the Greek diet’s ability to treat depression is its anti-inflammatory ingredients. Scientists say that pro-inflammatory diets, meaning foods with high amounts of sugar, as well as saturated and processed foods, are more likely to contribute to the development of depression in individuals.

So if you avoid pro-inflammatory foods and choose to follow a Greek diet religiously, you can manage your depression more effectively.

Prevent cancer

Lastly, a Greek diet has been discovered to be able to prevent cancer, although scientists are careful to state that they’re still in the early stages of finding out if this is true. But according to some findings, due to its plant-rich foods, a Greek diet is said to have prevented cancer in a series of tests conducted on monkeys.

The test sought to determine the effect of Western and Mediterranean diets on monkeys. The scientists behind the experiment explained that breast glands have a microbiome—a collection of various organisms that can affect our health.

They added that a person’s diet has a contributing factor in the development of certain organisms in that microbiome. Because monkeys and humans are closely linked together with regard to anatomy and genetic traits, those scientists conducted an experiment wherein they subjected female monkeys to two diets.

After a couple of years, they discovered that the monkeys who followed a Mediterranean diet developed Lactobacillus and bile acid metabolites, both of which have the ability to slow down cancer growth. Lactobacillus is said to be able to slow down breast tumors while bile acid metabolites are said to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

So aside from its ability to lower cholesterol and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease, the Greek diet is capable of other things that are just as beneficial to a person.