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The culinary traditions, eating habits, and foods of the Mediterranean area are the result of centuries of tradition. Images of long, leisurely meals, full of great food and conversation, dominate the picture, creating what many see as the culinary ideal.
However, it is not just the incredible flavors and recipes of that area of the world that is garnering all of the attention. It is also the lives and health of the people who eat it. In recent years, lots of study has been given to what is called the “Mediterranean Diet.” Considered one of the healthiest ways of eating, the Mediterranean Diet has shown to have a positive effect on your heart, blood sugar, weight, and overall health.
The most important aspect of the Mediterranean Diet is the types of food. Rich in whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, fruit, vegetables, olive oil, spices, and fish, the Mediterranean Diet is full of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and monounsaturated fats that your body needs to remain healthy.
One of the areas of the diet that has received the most attention is the use of monounsaturated fats, particularly olive oil. Studies have shown that this particular fat has anti-inflammatory capabilities and helps fights disease at the cellular level. Another area of interest is the high fiber level, which helps slow digestion and reduce blood sugar swings.
The Mediterranean Diet has shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In general, a Mediterranean Diet combined with daily physical activity is believed to increase your overall life expectancy.
And the best part is that it is a diet full of the great food and flavors that people love to eat everyday.
One of the most common complaints of the winter season is how the number of holiday parties and treats can wreck havoc on your waistline. The temptation of those holiday desserts combined with the belief that the best fruits and vegetables are no longer in season, can leave you in an unhealthy frame of mind.
However, despite the misconception that no good fresh food is found during the winter, there are several wonderful winter fruits and vegetables that you can add to your diet. By adding just a few, you can enliven your taste buds, increase your health, and help get your waistline back to normal.