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The Mediterranean diet is based on a pattern of eating that’s closely tied to the Mediterranean region, which includes Greece and southern Italy. Essentially, the traditional diet emphasizes foods from plant sources, limited meat consumption, small amounts of wine and olive oil as the main fat source. The beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet has been proven not only to cardiovascular diseases but also for diabetes, obesity, arthritis and cancer. Its anti-inflammatory and protective properties are linked to the large presence of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, but especially to the constituents of extra virgin olive oil: oleic acid, phenolic compounds olecanthal, a new recently discovered molecule, with natural anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown that the Mediterranean diet can reduce disease activity, pain and stiffness in patients with inflammatory arthritis and may thus constitute a valuable support for patients suffering from these diseases.
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