You know it’s great for your heart—but your favorite Mediterranean staples do wonders for other parts of your body, too.
(Looking for nutritious meals to fuel your run? Try the Runner’s World Cookbook.)
Overall, it’s one of the healthiest ways to eat, because you’re primarily consuming foods in their whole form, explains Carolyn Brown, M.S., R.D., a nutrition counselor at Foodtrainers in New York City.
In general, Americans tend to eat fewer fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, while loading up on more processed carbs and sugar. The result? A higher risk of obesity, heart problems, and diabetes, says Brown.
But eating an abundance of Mediterranean staples? That can do your body good. Read on to find out how.