Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!See the gallery of 11 photos
The Mediterranean diet strengthens the immune system. It allows you to keep fit and feel good. It inhibits the development of atherosclerosis, protects against heart attacks and many cancers. The advantages of the Mediterranean diet cannot be overestimated. It is based on vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, as well as olive oil.
Are you over 25 years old and you eat traditionally "Polish", and from time to time you do not deny yourself a hamburger or fries? If so, probably atherosclerosis is already wreaking havoc in your blood vessels. In the average Pole, cholesterol begins to accumulate in the arteries well before the age of 30. Meanwhile, the Greeks living in Crete hardly ever have atherosclerosis! They owe it to their menu, unchanged for thousands of years, rich in natural, he althy products. They can season and prepare them so that they are not only delicious for the palate, but also excellent for he alth. Is it possible to transfer these culinary recipes to the north of Europe and use them on a daily basis, not just when visiting a Greek or Italian tavern? Yes of course. A menu similar to that of the Greeks from Crete, but using our native products, can be composed without much trouble.The Mediterranean diethas one more advantage - it is an excellent model that can and must be modified, while remaining faithful to it.
Why is it worth following the Mediterranean diet
In some regions of the world, people live long and enjoy good he alth until old age, while in others they suffer from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and blood vessel diseases. The inhabitants of Sicily, Crete and other Greek islands are especially famous for their good physical and mental condition - all those places where traditional dishes have been served for centuries. This was confirmed by archaeological research conducted in Cyprus - this is how the inhabitants of these lands actually lived thousands of years before Christ. Scientists, looking for their way to he alth and longevity, stated without any doubts that it is … eating style and commonly used diet. They called it Mediterranean, although there is hardly one Mediterranean cuisine. For each of the nations inhabiting the coast of the SeaThe Mediterranean has created its own specific. Italian pasta in Greece is not eaten. On the other hand, Spanish gazpacho or Greek moussaka are alien to Italy. However, there is one thing that all these kitchens have in common - these arefruits and vegetables.They are the most important. Prepared in every way. Boiled, baked, raw. And in large numbers. Fish, seafood and legumes are also ubiquitous: soybeans, lentils, peas. The meat is mainly eaten poultry and lamb, and therefore white. Everything is reliably seasoned with herbs and garlic, and poured generously with olive oil, which successfully replaces animal fats (including butter). Wine - red - is drunk often, but in moderation. The products commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine are rich in fiber, vitamin C, micro and macro elements and valuable polyunsaturated fatty acids. Those who use such a diet on a daily basis provide the body with an abundance of vitamins and minerals, they also have a lot of a deficient component in our diet, i.e. dietary fiber. The main source of energy are grain products (they provide complex carbohydrates of plant origin), vegetable fats and legumes. However, sufficient amounts of animal protein are found in both fish and dishes prepared from milk, mainly fermented (e.g. yoghurt).Important
Research by American epidemiologists (the so-called research of seven countries conducted almost 40 years ago) has shown that men living in Greece die from ischemic heart disease by as much as 90 percent. less often than the Americans! This was confirmed, inter alia, by the results of British medical research (published by the British Medical Journal) and French statistical research, organized on a large scale in Lyon. Compared to the control group of people following the typical European diet, mortality from heart disease among people eating the rules of the Mediterranean diet has decreased by more than 70%. (and the heart attack itself - by 76 percent). What's more, according to doctors and nutritionists, it is enough to start following the Mediterranean diet after the age of 60 to extend it by at least a year! Of course, the sooner we start, the better the results will be. Centenarians are not uncommon among the inhabitants of Crete.
Mediterranean diet under Polish thatched roof
Aren't the same products also on our tables? Yes, we eat a lot of fruit (especially in season) and more and more vegetables, we like grilling, preparing meat in the Mediterranean way, i.e. without the addition of fat. Even recently, we are convinced of salads and salads seasoned with olive oil. It turns outit is clear, however, that the Greeks or Spaniards are perfectly able to use the benefits of the table, and we - not quite. Let's take our potatoes, for example. In southern Europe, a lot of them are also eaten, but usually from water or from an oven, without fat. We, on the other hand, graze them abundantly with animal fat. And such fat is not only harmful in itself, but also blocks the beneficial effects of vitamin C found in potato tubers. Although we live in a cooler climate than Italians or Greeks, nutritionists believe that we will find enough energy for us in the so-called pure carbohydrates, i.e. potatoes (but without the addition of animal fats), grain groats (buckwheat, barley, oat), coarse-mill bread. These typically Polish products also provide excellent vegetable protein, a lot of fiber and valuable B vitamins. You can also add pasta, especially the one made of high-protein durum wheat (it is easily available in Polish stores). The priceless calcium, on the other hand, can be obtained from semi-fat cheeses and yoghurt. Olive oil, the so-called extra virgin, or virgin, which is expensive with us, can be successfully replaced with oil from our cold-pressed non-eraser rape, once despised, today called the olive oil of the north, which is in no way inferior to it. It is definitely worth making a lot more space for the fish on the table. Sea fish, including herring and cod, which are popular with us, have a lot of valuable omega-3 fatty acids. Those of us who don't like anything that comes from the sea should replace a pork chop or a steak with e.g. a poultry steak (preferably grilled or oven-baked). It is true that not all the ingredients of the Mediterranean diet can be transferred directly to our tables, but not all of them need to be transferred. Polish fruit and vegetables are equally tasty and valuable. If someone wants, it can also replace red wine. It helps to lower cholesterol because it contains bioflavonoids. But Polish black currants have almost twice as many!
Mediterranean diet - tasty, he althy, not fattening
You often hear the opinion that the Mediterranean diet is fattening due to its high carbohydrate content (e.g. pasta). It's not true. Pasta with vegetables, lean fish or poultry certainly does not make you fat. It becomes dangerous only when accompanied by a fatty sauce. As it turns out, the inhabitants of Mediterranean countries do not avoid fat. But one is unequal to each other. There, over 3/4 of the so-called fatty calories (i.e. those provided by lipids) come from olive oil containing omega-6 fatty acids. It is also worth noting that cooks from southern EuropeThey do not thicken soups and sauces with cream or flour, and they cook them in water or steam, bake in foil, on a grill or on a grill. They serve a lot of cooked vegetables or - which is even more beneficial for he alth - raw, in a variety of salad compositions. Besides, salads are often not only an addition, but also a separate dish. On hot days, typical of the Mediterranean climate, lunch ends with a portion of fresh fruit. Ripe, eaten raw with the skin, it is the most valuable dessert. Much better than coffee with cream and a cookie.
None of the products of the Mediterranean diet alone have a great impact on he alth. Their combination is beneficial only when individual components can interact with each other.You must do it
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, with a small amount of saturated fatty acids (i.e. animal-derived fatty acids) lowers blood pressure. For this reason, it is recommended both in the prevention and treatment of hypertension.
- The vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and fiber present in vegetables, olive oil and fruit inhibit the growth of cancers of the digestive tract and respiratory system, because they protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals.
- The use of the Mediterranean diet prevents inflammatory processes that are dangerous to our he alth, largely responsible for the formation of cancer cells, in our body.
Foods used in the Mediterranean diet
- Olive oil - lowers blood pressure, has anticoagulant properties. The monounsaturated fatty acids contained in it have antiatherosclerotic properties. Olive oil also provides vitamin E - an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.
- Fish - is a source of easily digestible protein. Fish meat also contains a lot of calcium and phosphorus, needed to keep bones in good condition, and iodine valuable to the thyroid gland. And finally, it contains the most valuable, unique, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which protect against atherosclerosis and coronary disease, lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. One of these acids (docosahexaenoic acid) is also very important for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- Seafood - oysters, crabs, clams, shrimps - are a rich source of zinc necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, as well as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Vegetables and fruits - regulate metabolism, provide mineral s alts, vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols that fight free radicals, and thus preventcardiovascular diseases. They also have anti-cancer properties and slow down the aging process.
- Legumes - they have a lot of fiber that is digested only in the large intestine. Then, compounds that inhibit the transformation of some components of bile into carcinogenic substances are formed.
- Spices - Garlic and onion have antibacterial properties and reduce blood pressure. Many of the herbal spices (e.g. basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and cumin) are powerful antioxidants.
- Red wine - contains polyphenols that protect arteries against atherosclerosis, and cholesterol-lowering saponins. They are found in the skin of grapes, which is why the greatest amount of them is found in red wine. Wine also has an anti-clotting effect.
- Pasta - the best one is made of durum wheat or flour from the so-called full mill (wholemeal). It contains fiber, which i.a. lowers cholesterol and protects against colon cancer.