The Staple Food of Life
Mediterranean Food is amongst the finest food in the world! Of course we would say this, we lived in the Mediterranean for many years enjoying the health benefits of locally grown fresh food straight from the fields to market twice a week, enabling us to eat what we believe to be the healthiest diet of all. The Mediterranean weather mixed with fresh food and clean air sets anyone up for a happy healthy day. Now that we are living in California (loving it by the way), we see packaged and pre-made, pre-cooked food everywhere which contains ingredients that are barely recognizable these days, which is great for the hectic fast lifestyle we see in the western world of today and many people, along with ourselves during our extremely busy days only have time to succumb to packaged fast food and drive through, which we admittedly do like from time to time.
Getting back to the Mediterranean. Would you believe the area within the Mediterranean which we lived had a time when only limited packaged food for many years was available and only in recent years we saw the increase. Previously there was no microwave food available, no pre-cooked food, no packaged sandwiches or drive through? and yet families and businesses were busy every day working so hard and yet still managed to cook dinners and lunch from scratch and people daily ate out at the many affordable healthy cafe’s and restaurants serving healthy Mediterranean Cuisine, created early morning, fresh in their homes or homely style restaurant kitchens. Not once whilst we lived there, did we ever microwave pre-packaged food. Hard to believe, it’s true! However, prior to moving to California we also gradually saw the fast food chains one by one entering the area. which we will leave that debate for another day, “How Fast Food Giants Took Over The World”
Mediterranean Food Markets
If you have never had the pleasure of visiting a Mediterranean Food Market, its a must if you can, it will blow you away. If you ever have the chance to go and visit, please do, take time out of your hectic lifestyle to go and journey and enjoy, it is an incredible experience not to be missed. Once visited, many people return time after time, vowing never to travel anywhere else . The choice in local markets are unbelievable, fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, rice, eggs, yoghurt, olive oil, fish, berries, nuts, flowers and much more in complete abundance comes alive twice a week in the area we lived. The choice is staggering, so many different kinds of yoghurt, rice and cheese left us often taking home several choices of each enjoying laid out tables of fresh goodness with our families for days.
The experience of getting up on a Sunday and Tuesday to head over to the huge markets, hearing the hustle and bustle of people bartering, loading shopping trollies full of amazing foods was a sight to see. What is surprising of all? the price, nothing is over priced, great low prices for such great tasting fresh food which enabled us to cook our meals and juice our drinks from scratch with only the finest ingredients leaving us energized and feeling healthy and vibrant for the rest of the day!
Top Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
HELPS FIGHT HEART DISEASE.
Those living in the Mediterranean consume a high level of plant based foods which in turn is their staple diet including nuts, fruits and vegetables along with oily fish. These kind of foods have been proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure defending off serious life threatening illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes. Many studies have taken place maintaining those people who live on this healthy diet are more likely to live past 70yrs old than those whom do not eat this healthy diet. The PREDIMED landmark results confirms eating a Mediterranean Diet supplemented daily with nuts cuts the risk of hearth disease by 30% and Stroke by 49% in comparison to a low-fat diet.
As we age, our brains age and our risk of developing a stroke, Alzheimer’s or even dementia increases along with memory loss. We are constantly being told exercise and a healthy diet is good for us, but what kind of diet? According to the Journal Neurology study ( http://bit.ly/2fsncGD ) shows us how the Mediterranean Diet (which includes wine) can make your brain approximately 5 years younger! Hard to believe, but not impossible. Researchers discovered amongst 674 people at an average age of 80 that the group who consumed the Mediterranean Diet had more mass of gray and white matter meaning their brains were younger than their counterparts who did not follow the Mediterranean Diet within that year.
WAISTLINE, DEPRESSION, ASTHMA, INFLAMATION and BREAST CANCER.-
A Study published in JAMA internal medicine stated that research amongst post-menopausal women in Spain whom held a Mediterranean Diet rich in extra Virgin Olive Oil reported a reduction in breast cancer risk. Also due to the health benefits and natural low fat ingredients the Mediterranean Diet has a positive impact on your waistline which is great for all those ladies out there whom are experiencing the horrible effects of the bulge! Along with much research it has been proven, that the anti inflammatory effects of eating plant based foods and healthy oils also have an effect on inflammation within the joints which no doubt is a benefit to us all as we get older and no doubt this kind of diet can help us stay away from conventional medicine for many years.
The main ingredients come from Plant Foods, nuts, seeds, olive oil, spices, vegetables, herbs, fruits which are included in peoples diets everyday living in the Mediterranean including beans and nuts are the healthy side of a carbohydrate food which is also seen as part of the every day diet in the Mediterranean. Olive oil containing monounsaturated fats is a healthy fat which is used as a main source of cooking oil can reduce and help lower cholesterol levels. very rarely is butter or margarine used as it is high in solid fats. Fish is part of the staple diet filled with omega 3 fatty acids and high in protein which is beneficial eaten twice a week.
Is this a wonder diet?
No, it is not a wonder diet and no matter where you live this diet can be achieved by eating the above ingredients responsibly and regularly. Of course living in the Western World sometimes demands that we succumb to the fast packaged microwave and pre-cooked foods, it is unavoidable however, we can try, we can all try to introduce these amazing easy to purchase foods. Time, pressure and money is the only stumbling block stopping many of us from doing what is right for our bodies and mind. It is time we all created that time, if necessary cutting back on unnecessary purchases to enhance the well-being of our lives. Of course we hear you saying, “that’s easy to say” and we agree totally!. We can only all but try!….
Try this healthy diet for just one month, let us know your thoughts and how you feel about the Mediterranean Diet. We are always interested to hear from you.