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The power of the Mediterranean Diet

tomatoes of different shapes and colors garlic and vegetables typical of Mediterranean diet

A recent exchange on social media with a few nutrition experts has prompted this post, as I realized that the Mediterranean Diet it is still misunderstood in its principles, also due to recent diets that claim to be inspired by it.

Moderation and variety

First of all, yes the Mediterranean diet is not a low-carb diet, but carbs are included in moderation and balanced with many other nutrients. If we have more of a starchy-based meal, than the other meal of the day might be more protein-based, including fish, legumes, eggs or meat usually accompanied by a generous portion of vegetables, either fresh in a salad or cooked.

vegetables and herbs are a central part of the Mediterranean diet

Vegetables are not only a “side” dish, like a dull and dutiful accompaniment to every meal, but they come to life, and become the principal ingredient in a variety of dishes. In Mediterranean cuisine, you won’t even realize that you are having your “one or two per day” but you will simply savor the taste of an enticing dish.

Salads are the main dish during the Summer

Salads are often enjoyed as a main dish, especially during the hot season, and they are made up of fresh, raw vegetables, that are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and electrolytes.

The Mediterranean diet is based on olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil, with its vitamin E, perfect Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, and anti-inflammatory polyphenols is the thread that unites all the various Mediterranean cuisines.

The Mediterranean diet is seasonable

The Mediterranean way of eating is based on a variety of seasonable food, and on the colors of the rainbow. We exercise moderation and balance, but one of the most precious elements of the Mediterranean diet is that is a part of a lifestyle where quality food is only a component, albeit an important one.

Food is social connection

For us food is what brings people together, is a magnet for social interaction and connection. Meals, rather than a disorderly process, are what regulate family life.

The Mediterranean diet is more of a diet: it is a lifestyle

But there is more to that. It is the lifestyle around it. It is the eating hygiene and the mindfulness. We sit down for a meal, that is a godsend for the para-sympathetic system also known as repose-and-digest. We take a break, and we are present in the moment, immersing ourselves in the flavours of the food. Mealtimes especially dinner, are a moment when we connect as families, and when discussions are made.

Mealtimes are a ritual

Mealtimes are more of of a ritual, where you take a real break from your busy day, relax and enjoy.

Walking after a rich mealtime

And it does not end there. Walking and everyday movement are encouraged as seen as a normal way of life,despite the age. Often a leisure walk is taken after a particularly rich family meal, as a way to ‘digest the food”.

The Mediterranean diet is holistic

I believe that is this holistic and humanist side of the Mediterranean diet, that is the most difficult to define and converse into a “diet book”, but it might as well be the most effective and healthy of all.

What are your thoughts about the Mediterranean diet?

Let me know in the comments below…

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