The Mediterranean Diet and Health

We have all heard about the Mediterranean diet, its importance and its benefits for our health, but sometimes the day to day makes us lose its basic pillars:
Consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, nuts, these last two in moderate quantities, eggs, lean meats, fish, olive oil, seasonal products, etc.

Many of these foods we already eat regularly, but others, either due to lack of habit or simply because we are not attentive, we do not give importance to them.
We can solve this by thinking about it at the time of purchase and / or planning meals with a little more time.

Nor should we forget to do regular physical exercise, always within our possibilities and to be able to be in contact with nature.
Products «light» or with sweeteners and less fat
You have to be clear about what the term «light» means and know how to interpret the information well.

According to Spanish regulations, they are those products in which the contribution of energy, that is to say, of calories, is at least 30% lower or lower than their reference food.

This is achieved by reducing the amount of sugars or fats in the food. It is important to read the labels of these products well.

They will undoubtedly be very useful for us to follow more appropriate diets in case of suffering from any disease.

Such as diabetes, high cholesterol or arterial hypertension, as there are products with low fat content, without cholesterol, without added sugars or low in salt.

The fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have a high content of vitamins and minerals, also in water, which facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body, they are rich in fiber, helping to regulate intestinal transit.

They provide us with antioxidants to prevent cardiovascular and degenerative diseases of the nervous system, and have a low calorie content and improve the intestinal microbiota.

Drink water regularly:

Drinking water every day is essential to maintain good health. Our body is made up of approximately 60% water.

This tells us the importance of consuming water every day. Preferably we will take it alone, with or without gas, avoiding soft drinks and sugary waters.

We lose 2.5 liters of water through sweat, urine and respiration, so it is advisable to consume about eight glasses of water a day, which would be equivalent to 2 liters a day, at least, depending on physical activity, sweat, etc.

-Geographical origin of the plant species included in the Mediterranean diet.

Indigenous plants in the Mediterranean region olives, borage, chard, capers, lupines, asparagus, watercress, mallow, thistle, grapes, beet, tiger nut, parsley, cumin, coriander, fennel, oregano, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, savory, fenugreek, bay leaf, saffron, mushrooms.
Plants originating from other Asian regions:
Rice, buckwheat, wheat, barley, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, beans, onions, garlic, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, spinach, cucumber, yam, arugula, bananas, figs, apples, quince, pear, mango, plum, cherry, raspberry, lemon, cucumbers, kiwis, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, marjoram, tarragon, pepper, saffron, turmeric, cloves, ginger.
Plants originating from Africa:
millet, sorghum, artichokes, okra, watermelons, melons.
Plants originating from the Americas:
Corn, other beans, peanuts, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, potato, sweet potato, prickly pears, cashews, sunflower seeds, avocado, coffee, cayenne pepper, allspice, pink pepper.
Nuts are beneficial, but should be consumed in a prudent amount due to their high caloric value.

– Conclusions:

A Mediterranean-style diet can help us achieve the American Heart Association’s recommendations for a healthy dietary pattern that:
-Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes.
-includes low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fish, poultry, non-tropical vegetable oils, and nuts.
-Limit added sugars, sugary drinks, sodium, highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and fatty or processed meats.

This eating style can play an important role in preventing heart disease and stroke and reducing risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

There is evidence that a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil can help the body remove excess cholesterol from the arteries and keep blood vessels open.

-Am J Med. 2015 Mar; 128 (3): 229 Epub 2014 Oct 15.The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease.R Jay Widmer et al.
-Nutr Today. 2017 Sep; 52 (5): 208–222. Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Donato F. Romagnolo, PhD, MSc and Ornella I. Selmin, PhD.

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