Feeling Good on a Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean DietChances are a Mediterranean diet will make you feel better, in mind as well as in body.  This diet which includes whole grains and dark green vegetables is high in B vitamins and folate which enhance production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin.  Omega-3 fatty acids associated with higher fish consumption improve the delivery of serotonin to the brain. Olive oil is also known to have a protective effect on the brain.

These ideas are discussed by Spanish researchers who recently published their findings on quality of life associated with the Mediterranean diet (see link below). They maintain it is this dietary pattern as a whole, rather than the specific components, that influences wellbeing and improves health parameters. It’s interesting to note that people following this dietary pattern also exercised more, smoked less, tended to have adequate financial resources and were more likely to be married.  But they weren’t perfect!  They carried more weight (higher BMI) and were not without problems associated with heart and blood pressure as well as cholesterol and diabetes.  However research in the last couple of years is indicating that it is possible to function well into older age in conjunction with certain medical imperfections.  A healthy diet is an example of epigenetics, the study of how we can avoid problems and maximise our genetic positive potential through the choices we make.

Here are some further reasons the Mediterranean diet works:

  • by increasing antioxidants
  • by reducing low-grade inflammation
  • by improving function of blood vessels
  • by improving clotting factors
  • by lowering the risk of diabetes (less insulin resistance)
  • by lowering homocysteine
  • by lowering total cholesterol, but enhancing the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL)

How can we eat more “Mediterranean” and enjoy the benefits of a better health-related quality of life (HRQL)?  Choose to eat more:

  • fruit and vegetables, eaten seasonally and organic where possible
  • fish (omega-3 fatty acids) – sardines are a major powerfood
  • legumes (chick peas, lentils, borlotti beans, etc)
  • whole grain cereals and nuts (typically walnuts and pinenuts)
  • dairy products such as yoghurt (high in probiotics) and artisanal cheeses including goat and sheep cheeses.  Drinking milk, even in coffee, is not typical of the region.
  • bone soups – fish soup is another power food of the Mediterranean
  • red wine, typically low in preservatives
  • herbal tea, made from herbs and flowers of the region.  A tisane is a sleep-inducing tea frequently consumed by French women after dinner.
  • water – note that the Mediterranean is a highly mineralised area. Magnesium-rich mineral waters provide significantly more bioavailable magnesium than is available to most city dwellers in industrialized societies.

Read the original research here.

Comments

  1. Evan says:

    I knew a glass of red wine was going to be ok! :-) Nice article.

  2. do you have a fb fanpage

  3. Admin says:

    Thanks for visiting, here is our Facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Longevityboom/259379350817972

  4. d3 items says:

    This writing has inspired me to start working on my own blog

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