The Mediterranean diet has been developed for years in the countries of the Mediterranean coast like Italy, Spain or Greece. It has been influenced by diverse people like Romans, Arabians, Greeks, pre-Hispanic tribes, bringing more variety to the local cuisine.
This diet is characterized by the use of olive oil, wine, vegetables, fish, cheese, yogurt, fruits, legumes, dried fruits and cereals. It shows the ancient history and traditions of the countries of the region. The use of wine and olive oil was introduced by ancient Greeks and Romans. Then, with the arrival of the Arabians, new food was introduced, such as dried fruits like almonds, legumes like chickpeas and fruits like lemon or orange. After the discovery of America, new food came to Europe, crucial ingredients like potatoes and tomato. For this reason the Mediterranean diet is so varied
It is well known that this diet has many benefits, it is appreciated by its variety of ingredients and its culinary techniques. It is simple but rich at the same time. There is a predominance of vegetables and fruits, leaving meat in the background. It has always been described as one of the most balanced diets and it is a good example of a healthy lifestyle due to its amount of benefits.
Some of these benefits are the prevention of diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular problems, degenerative illnesses or cancer. It is rich in antioxidants and fiber and poor in saturated fatty acids, it provides a balanced intake of essential unsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6.
For example, the olive oil, which is widely used for cooking, has a lot of positive effects in our bodies. It helps to reduce the LDL-c cholesterol, which remains in the arteries, it also helps to control the arterial pressure. Another important ingredient, the wine, is characterized by its antioxidant properties and its positive effects on the circulatory system.
The predominance of wholegrain cereals, vegetables and legumes helps to obtain fiber, which is good for the gastrointestinal tract. There are two types of fiber, the soluble and the insoluble one. The first one helps to regulate blood cholesterol and glucose, it can be found in lentils, carrots, walnuts and apples; the second one stimulates the digestive system helping to combat constipation.
This diet is also rich in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese, Italian cheese like mozzarella and Greek yogurt are widely known for their quality. Dairy products help to obtain the necessary calcium, preventing illnesses like osteoporosis, for this reason many experts recommend taking three dairy products per day.
In addition to this, it is low in unhealthy fatty acids and sugar, which is essential to keep a balanced weight. This combined with regular physical exercise could help us to maintain a healthy weight.
In a nutshell, Mediterranean diet is well known for its benefits for health, however it is in danger due to the introduction of fast food, ultra processed food and precooked food. People do not have time for cooking and leave behind more healthy habits. That’s why it is crucial to highlight the importance of Mediterranean diet nowadays, and to invite people to retake it.
Written by Sara García Sánchez
Message to reader: Any information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended in any way to replace professional figures in the medical and consultancy fields.
Messaggio al lettore: Ogni informazione presente in questo blog è puramente a scopo informativo. Non si intende in nessun modo sostituire figure professionali in campo medico e di consulenza.