When the months of May, July and August roll around, there are few places that can equal the beauty surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. During these months Portugal, Spain and Italy transform into one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The reason is due to the warm climate, long hours of sunshine, late night parties and of course the food. The center of all of this is the Mediterranean diet.
Some of the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet are tomatoes, eggs, fish, peppers and everything is drenched in olive oil. Bread, cheeses and other similar items are consumed daily in quantities, which are considered to be one of the healthiest way of eating that exists.
If a nutritionist planned this diet, it couldn’t be as perfect. All of the components of this diet help those who follow it to have a healthier lifestyle, as it encourages using olive oil on everything, which is the perfect fat that the body needs. Fish also contains good quality fats, proteins and omega 3. It has been proven that the Mediterranean diet aids in preventing cardiovascular diseases, controlling diabetes and it has even been related to lower risks of having Alzheimer.
In an investigation by Nutritional Neuroscience, they showed how the Mediterranean Diet also helped patients suffering from depression to have reduced symptoms and an improved quality of life. It is important to recall that depression and other diseases such as anxiety are one of the main concerns of doctors and investigators.
The Mediterranean diet is the center of many studies by nutritionists and individuals that are trained in the field of health for many years. The initial investigation began in 1948 and focused on Iberian Peninsula and Japan. Studies showed that the main diet from the Iberian Peninsula resulted in in fewer cardiovascular diseases, also lower levels of cholesterol. Especially when compared to United States, which is considered to be the country with highest scale health problems related to their diet. The Japanese eat plenty of fish and vegetables, which is one of the main reasons for their good results.
As we have already mentioned, this diet is considered to be part of these country’s day-to-day life, they haven’t been instructed to follow this diet by an influential dietitian. The reasons the countries surrounding the Mediterranean eat so well, is due to years of economical problems and little to none imported goods, so the people eat the foods the surrounded them. Tomatoes grew from the ground, as well as olives from the trees to made olive oil. Bread was always considered to be staple, as it was cheap and easy to make. Fish was plentiful along the coastlines, especially sardines.
The best part of this is that there is a dose of luck. Dose not a cup. Yes, the wine, it is another key ingredient of this diet. Grapes grow throughout this area and wine is considered to be the healthiest of alcohols and as we all know, a glass of wine each day means a healthy heart.
During times of crisis and years of penny pinching created this diet as there were no fast food restaurants, processed foods, trans fats and sugar that can be found at our local supermarket. For this reason, we need to appreciate the Mediterranean diet and listen to our parents and grandparents about what should on our table for dinner. It is just as easy to purchase foods that are bad for you, as foods that can help you heal such as tomatoes, olive oil, fish (sardines, octopus but also other types of fish such as salmon), sourdough bread and fruit, yes all types of fruits. The Mediterranean Diet doesn’t only exist in Portugal, Italy or Greece but it is available everywhere. All you need to do is base your diet around vegetables, beans, fruits, and choose the best types of animal-based proteins and fats and forget about processed foods and artificial sweeteners and other items that will only make you sick.