To summarize the recent scientific evidence regarding the wellness-promoting capacity of the Mediterranean lifestyle (ML), with a special focus on physical, social and environmental wellness.
Narrative review of English-language publications in PubMed, Scopus and Embase, from 1 January 2010 to 31 October 2018.
Prospective cohort studies, interventional studies, meta-analyses and reviews of those investigating the effect of at least one component of the ML on wellness parameters.
Although an explicit definition of ML is missing, compliance with various combinations of its components improves metabolic health and protects against or ameliorates disease state. However, there is heterogeneity in the healthy behaviours that the ML-focused studies include in their design and the way these are assessed. Also, despite that features of the ML could contribute to other wellness dimensions, there are no studies exploring the effect this healthy lifestyle could confer to them.
Chronic lifestyle diseases are of multifactorial aetiology and they warrant multifaceted approaches targeting the general way of living. ML, if thoroughly evaluated, can provide a valuable tool to holistically promote health and wellness.