MEDITERRANEAN DIET: AN EXCELLENT WAY TO ENJOY GOOD PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
October was gray and wet, November has just started with the promise of colder nights and further shortening of daylight, we’re going back in lockdown on Thursday...raise your hand if your mood swings are becoming a bit of a roller coaster. Of if you only know one emotional color…blue! When we feel like that, we often indulge in too much food, too many drinks and not enough exercise. Been there, done that!
Now imagine there is a way to be more emotionally stable, energetic and fitter….and eat yummy food! Introduce some principles of the Mediterranean diet without giving up your trips to the local farmers’ market and you’ll be grateful you read this article!
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a great way to stay healthy and fit. True that when we think about Mediterranean food we start mouthwatering, remembering the amazing lunch in that Italian trattoria, the Spanish tapas, moussaka, pizza, you name it. But reality is that those rich courses are our festive meals. Our ancestors used to have more elaborated meals only on a Sunday or for special occasions. On a normal weekday the staple foods were wholegrain cereals (not pasta and white brad every day!), legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, eggs, cheese and some fish and meat according to the agronomic heritage and availability. Obviously seasoned with olive oil! Another important aspect of the Mediterranean diet is conviviality, which is almost as important as the food for our health. And let’s not forget about exercise. Grannies never spent more than 10 minutes sitting, bike and feet were their mode of transport and walking in nature and dancing were their main entertainment activities!
Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
Let’s have a look at all the mental and physical benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
It can prevent cancer
Eating plenty of veggies and juicy fruit, use extra virgin olive oil and limit the intake of red meat and processed food as encouraged by the Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of cancer. This is due to the intake of antioxidants, our powerful allies in fighting general inflammation, which is known to be linked to many diseases.
It is a good choice for detox your body
Fresh fruit, raw veggies, unsaturated fats contained in olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish, consuming beans and pulses as a source of protein help you detox your body and prevent many health issues. Have you ever experienced the mental clarity after a detox? Productivity and mood skyrocket!
It helps in losing bodyweight
The Mediterranean diet is a long term plan to lose weight in a healthy and permanent way.It is not difficult to include its components in your diet: start replacing white bread and cereals with their wholegrain version, possibly organic. Then replace sauces, dressings and cooking fats with extra virgin olive oil, follow the 5-a-day guidelines and replace meat and cheese with beans and pulses twice a week. You’ll notice a slow but permanent loss of weight and a better skin complexion.
It is excellent for your heart’s health
The Mediterranean diet is known as an excellent diet plan for your heart’s health. It’s a way of eating that lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the amount of antioxidants, helping you keep your arteries clean and prevent heart disease.
Mood swings adieu!
When you replace refined cane sugar with natural sugars contained in fruit and white pasta, bread and rice, with their wholegrain counterparts, your insulin levels will be much more stable and you will experience a better emotional stability and a decrease of your anxiety levels.