The daylight hours are lengthening, the spring flowers are out and the layers of clothing are being shed. It is time to think about outdoor eating and warm weather holidays.
If you can’t get away yet, eating Mediterranean style is a perfect way to bring that holiday feeling to everyday life. Dishes of legumes, fresh vegetables, oily fish and good fats are the backbone of these eating habits.
As well as delicious tastes and an alphabet of vitamins, here are 3 more reasons to eat like a southern European:
There is strong evidence that a Mediterranean style diet has real benefits for cardiac health. A new study also shows that it can reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women. This is also believed to be tied to more active lifestyles. Small Mediterranean villages mean steep hills, fewer cars and so more walking.
Our Greek, Spanish and Italian friends may love their wine and ouzo, but it is a known factor in increasing cancer risk. So raise the vegetable, olive oil and fish content in your diet, move around more and cut down on the alcohol.
A dish of legumes, fish and vegetables provides a good dose of protein as well as complex carbs. There’s nothing like it for filling you up. Add those salads when the season is right, and you can indulge in a tasty feast without it showing round your middle.
Want to live into your second century, in good health? Communities that eat Mediterranean style have a higher incidence of people doing exactly that. This is thought to be partly to do with the food and partly the lifestyle, so we can all try to emulate both.
It is easier than you think to translate the Mediterranean diet to the UK, even with a busy life. So plant those windowsill tomatoes, grab some fresh veg, splash on the olive oil and go Mediterranean!
the tomatoes from the shops now taste of something and the salad leaves are sprouting. Eating this kind of food at this time of year is a pleasure, hardly a chore. I'm happily indulging!
This diet is my absolute go to way of eating now, but I do worry that food like legumes aren't quite so protein-dense or high in iron as red meat so I also make sure I have things like chilli con carne and steak regularly too.
Its so easy to eat this way when the weather is good. I find myself naturally turning to fresh veg, avocadoes etc anyway. Nice to have a reminder of all the benefits too.