The Mediterranean diet - one of the three healthiest diet in the world

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The World Health Organization ranked the Mediterranean diet among the three healthiest diets in the world, and it is recommended to anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle, since it can prevent the most common diseases of modern man.

It consists of food that include fish, vegetables, fruit, citrus fruits, milk and dairy products, pasta and noodles, beans and cruciferous vegetables, less meat (usually chicken, turkey, rabbit and lamb), olive oil, spices, glass or two of wine a day (usually bevanda-combination of wine and plain water). Such diet with moderate physical activity gives vitality and good health.

Of the 400 species of fish that live in the Adriatic Sea, about 180 species are used for food. Crustaceans, molluscs (snails, shellfish, cephalopods) and algae are also used for food. Fish is an important source of protein, and they are easily digestible, better assimilated by the organism and have a more favorable composition of essential acids than other food. Fish meat is digested for 2-3 hours, until the digestion of beef should be 8-10 hours. Fish meat is rich in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and water soluble vitamins (B group of vitamins). 2% of fish is consisted of minerals: magnesium, calcium, fluorine and iodine. Fish and seafood contain selenium, which is an antioxidant, guardian of DNA and cell membranes from free radicals, and also has anti-cancer effect. Small pelagic fish has a 0.3 to 20% fat (unsaturated oleic and linoleic-and Ω-3 fatty acids). Ω-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA acids are found in oil and meat of fish, crustaceans and mammals in the sea. The source of these acids is phytoplankton, the base of the food chain in the sea. Ω-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil acting on the prevention and treatment of various heart diseases, hypertension, atherosclerosis and certain inflammatory and immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. In addition to the above values marine organisms have low calories level.

In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Research in 22,000 male physicians) claimed that men who eat fish regularly have a 81% lower risk of sudden death from a stroke than those who do not eat fish. Report which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (prospective study on 85,000 nurses followed for 16 years old) says that women who ate fish once a week are three times lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease

Fresh Mediterranean vegetables are rich in micro and macro bioactive substances (flavonoids, terpenes, lignans, isocyanates, glucosinolates, saponins, sulfides, phenolic acids ...) that as individual compounds or parts of some compounds (vitamins, enzymes, dietary fiber ...) act as protective agents in the organism.

Vegetables from family brassicas (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts) is significantly represented in the Mediterranean diet, especially along the coast of the Adriatic and the last 20 years is considered a natural source of anti-cancer and recommended as "food that protects against cancer “. In the fresh cabbage there is 49 bioactive substances, and almost all known vitamins. Broccoli has high level of sulforafangena attributed to its popularity in the prevention of cancer. Kale is due to the high fiber content is extremely healthy. Cabbage and other leafy vegetables contain many carotenoids, which also protect against cancer. Similar action has lycopene in tomatoes, vitamin C in arguments, peppers and wild Mediterranean herbs. Many Mediterranean plants have many A and E vitamins. Phenolic and tannic substances in brassicas, bony fruit and wine (especially red) are excellent antioxidants, " free radicals hunters".

Legumes (lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, beans) have unique content: the wealth substances.

Tomato is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and contains significant amounts of vitamins of the B group, and vitamins E and K. It is rich in minerals: potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, copper is one of the richest of foods, and by the amount of iron water front chicken and fish.

It also comprises an active ingredient from the family of carotenoids lycopene, which prevents the development of prostate tumors, gastrointestinal tract, breast, lung and cervix, as well as heart disease.

Mediterranean fruit : citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit) are rich in vitamins and minerals, and contain pectin, which prevents prostate cancer and other cancers.

Olive oil – the basis of Mediterranean cuisine. Hippocrates called it liquid gold. It has a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids compared to saturated and unsaturated largest share among a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. It contains not only fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), but chlorophyll, xanthophyll, minerals, enzymes, squalene, terpenes ... Polyphenols give it color, aroma, flavor and antioxidant power, and together with vitamin E and oleic acid make up the core of its healing properties. With oleic acid it contains polyunsaturated linoleic acid, linolenic acid in a small amount. Acid of the unrefined olive oil has positive effect on lipid metabolism in the liver, by regulating the ratio of bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol, and the prevention of changes in the blood system and the control of high pressure. Olive oil also helps with problems with the digestive tract - protects the gastric mucosa and prevent gastritis, reduces the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 2.5 times, and helps to better bowel habits.

Red wine,when consumed in small amounts - a glass or two a day leads to a reduction in death from heart disease and blood vessels (called "French paradox"). It showed the results of the study: Harvard study from 1997, a Finnish study published in 1995 in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1995 Copenhagen City Heart Study, a study published in the British Medical Journal. Phenolic compounds from wine (those that give bitter and acrid flavor) - quercetin and its related flavonoids and antioxidants prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), and thus inhibits the deposition of fatty plaques in the arterial wall, ie the development of atherosclerosis. For resveratriol it is experimentally proven that slows clotting platelets which prevents the formation of clots in the blood vessels of the heart and brain. It also increases HDL. 1992 researchers from Harvard included red wine among eight proven ways to protect the heart and blood vessels.

And finally – herbs. Mediterranean cuisine cannot go without garlic, parsley and celery. There are also some basil, sage, fennel, rosemary, mint, oregano (oregano), bay leaves, pepper, thyme, dill, cloves, capers. They are rich in antioxidants.

They grow under the scorching sun and soak up the rays and the country that concentrate wealth in itself.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber, Ω-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that carry the secret of health and longevity.

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn