Many studies have shown the positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on our health and in it. We can find the keys to have a balanced diet. Traditionally, this diet has been based on the abundant consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals. A smaller amount of meat compared to other territories and. Above all, virgin olive oil is the basis of the kitchen. The Mediterranean diet linked not only to specific foods but also to habits and customs that provide many benefits for our health. These are some of the tips that we can extract.
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Always Choose Seasonal Foods
Today we can eat practically any food at all times of the year, but that is not necessarily a positive thing. Adapting our diet to seasonal fruits and vegetables will ensure that throughout the year we achieve a rich and balanced diet, which covers the different nutrients of plant origin.
The foods typical of each season of the year have a higher nutritional value and are much tastier since they are at their optimum moment of maturity. In this way, we will find it more appetizing to opt for them over less healthy alternatives. In addition, we will be making a more sustainable consumption with the environment.
Eat Less Meat
Meat is not harmful, it is a source of proteins of high biological value, B vitamins and essential minerals. But it is advisable not to overeat red meat and processed meat products since they are a source of saturated fat. Among people who do not engage in regular physical activity, high consumption of fatty meats increases the risk of cardiovascular problems and being overweight.
For this reason, it is advisable to reduce the consumption of red meat and look for substitutes in poultry or rabbit meats, typical of the traditional Mediterranean diet, or in vegetable proteins. On the other hand, we limit the consumption of processed meats as much as possible, since they are high in fat and salt, and has shown to be a risk factor in the appearance of some types of cancer.
Use Virgin Olive Oil
This ingredient is one of the foundations of the diet in the countries of the Mediterranean basin and has amply proven its health benefits. As numerous studies highlight, virgin olive oil reduces the risks of diseases. Cardiovascular accidents by up to 30%, always within the framework of a healthy diet.
Oleic acid raises the levels of HDL cholesterol, which we know as “good”. Protects against oxidative stress and helps reduce hypertension. There are also studies that show its relationship with a lower risk of some cancers, such as colon, endometrial and ovary. For all these reasons, it is important to always opt for virgin olive oil in our meals.
Cook At Home Whenever You Can
It is proved that the habit of cooking directly relates to a healthier diet. The current rhythms of life leave little time to prepare homemade recipes. But it is something that we should prioritize whenever we can.
When we cook at home we not only avoid trans fats and excess salt and sugar from processed foods. We will also be using healthier ingredients. People who used to cooking consume a higher amount of vegetables and legumes. Have a much lower risk of being overweight.
Take Your Time To Eat
The Mediterranean diet is not only based on specific ingredients, but also on customs. In addition to home cooking, another very beneficial habit is the traditional time spent at the table. Eating slowly not only allows you to enjoy your food more. But it also provides health benefits, since it stimulates the intestine, facilitates digestion. Favours the absorption of nutrients and reduces the risk of obesity.
Taking time to eat will also help reduce our stress levels, something that is more important than we might think. Stress has identified as one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and accidents, diabetes, obesity and premature ageing of tissues. Therefore, stopping our activity for a while and focusing our attention on food will bring us numerous physical, emotional and mental benefits.