Med diet marvels — 3 ways to switch to this healthy lifestyle

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Posted on: 07 August 2018 by Amy Smith Brown

The media has championed the advantages of eating and drinking like our Italian Riviera and Cote d’Azur cousins for years.

The media has championed the advantages of eating and drinking like our Italian Riviera and Cote d’Azur cousins for years.

And some medics have produced evidence to back claims that adopting a Mediterranean diet benefits heart health and reduces the risk of stroke.

But you don’t need to purchase property on the Cap d’Antibes to take advantage of this culinary philosophy — here are three simple and convenient ways to switch to the Med diet now.

  1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are grown in many different countries — but they’re core ingredients of Mediterranean dishes like bruschetta and lasagne.

And the fruit that’s often mistaken for a veg has healthy properties — including the cancer-combatting antioxidant lycopene and potassium, folate and vitamins A, C and K.

Tomato skin also contains naringenin, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and chlorogenic acid, which may lower blood pressure according to a 2005 study on hypertension by researchers Kozuma, Tsuchiya, Kohori, Hase and Tokimitsu.

A modest portion of tomato sauce added to a main meal can also contribute significantly to your daily recommended vitamin intake — but choose a low-sugar option if available.

So if you’re already partial to tomatoes, increasing their presence in your weekly diet is a win-win.

  1. Olives

Olives are a staple of the Mediterranean diet that are familiar elsewhere — they’re commonly used as cocktail snacks and included in pizza toppings.

Related to mangoes and peaches, these small fruits punch above their weight in terms of packing healthy properties like vitamin E, oleic fatty acid, iron for oxygen transportation in blood and calcium for bone repair.

If you find olives on the internet from a reliable provider, you’ll be confident that they’re ethically-sourced and sustainability’s built into each stage of the supply chain.

Some of the best olives also originate from the African side of the Med in countries like Morocco and it’s reassuring to find out that that European suppliers promote good working conditions and wages.

Olives complement dishes including salmon, lamb and beef — as well as several tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes.

  1. Wine

People who drink alcohol in moderation might be glad to know that imbibing wine is part and parcel of the Med diet — and a glass of your favourite tipple might have several healthy properties.

A 2008 study by Dr Kevin J Pearson and follow-up research in the intervening years suggested that the flavonoid resveratrol found in red wine possibly protects against Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancer — as well as reducing the signs of ageing as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Meanwhile, a study by the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 2002 revealed that the skin of grapes used in white wine contains high levels of antioxidants that might protect against lung disease.

Therefore, if you order wine online from a quality supplier, you’ll possibly be enhancing your health while you enjoy its more sociable effects.

So there are three smooth ways to switch to a Med lifestyle without leaving your home town — start today and you’ll soon be a picture of health.

Do you follow the Mediterranean diet? Share your tips in the comments section.

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