Mediterranean Diet: Intangible Cultural Heritage


The Mediterranean diet constitutes a set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to the table, including the crops, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and, particularly, consumption of food. The principal ingredients of this particular diet are the extra virgin olive oil, cereals, fresh food and vegetables, fish and meat. The Mediterranean diet means much more than only food, it's also a cultural element which promotes social interaction. 

Healthy and easy to prepare

A study presented by the Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association revealed that the Mediterranean diet protects the brain areas involved in memory and thinking, and reduces the risk of stroke. This kind of feeding protect us from most chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's heart attacks and Parkinson's disease. The Mediterranean diet is not only good for your palate but also for your health. The traditional Mediterranean diet is a balanced diet that can represent it through a food pyramid.

The Mediterranean diet makes reference to a healthy lifestyle, lifestyle that includes a balanced and varied diet, characteristic of the countries in the geographical area of the Mediterranean, socialization during meals, traditional cooking techniques or regular exercise.

Mediterranean diet

In this pyramid we can find a lot of typical Mediterranean products, as manchego cheese, jamón ibérico (bellota maximun quality), chorizo ibérico, rice (main product for making paella) or extra virgin olive oil: the main ambassador of the Mediterranean diet.

Many studies about the Mediterranean diet have been made, and all of them come to the same result: People that usually eats following this diet is healthier, happier and in best shape than the people who doesn't follow the Mediterranean diet.

What makes the Mediterranean diet so special?

Extra virgin olive oil is the main ingredient of this diet, the "essence of life". It is extracted from the olive, fruit of the olive tree, a common tree in all the Mediterranean area. This oil is one of the flagships of the traditional cuisine of the area. Its benefits are not only aromatic or gustatory, but also contributes to the maintenance of good health by providing vitamins and antioxidants. You can use it in salads, meat, fish, with bread and tomato, and also for cooking. All your plates and foods will taste much different if you include extra virgin olive oil in your diet.

 

"Extra virgin olive oil: the main ambassador of the Mediterranean diet"

 

Freshly harvested vegetables are also an important part of the Mediterranean diet. The quantity of days with sun and heat allows vegetables to grow with an unique flavor that can only be found near the Mediterranean sea. The range of vegetables is also really wide, so many different kinds of products can grow in these areas. 

 

mediterranean diet

 

Cereals are also an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Grown in a dry weather, they provide the amount of carbohydrates necessary in daily life. The cereal is a kind of food that has always been known as the staple food in many peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean thanks to its easy growing, preparation and its main nutritional properties, which provide essential nutrients to our daily diet.

 

"The Mediterranean diet means much more than only food; it's a way of life"

 

Finally, in a complete Mediterranean diet, it's usual to find some meat and some fish. While the meat is really rich in proteins and iron, the fish has a lot of omega-3, very useful in the brain function. It's a must say that white tuna in olive oil  is one of the healthiest dishes anyone can have.

Assembling the long coastlines and broad meadows, the Mediterranean is a steady supplier of high quality meat and fish. With a natural combination of all these products, following the Mediterranean diet it's going to be a game of children. You will notice the improvement of this diet not only in your inside, but also in your outside. 

 

Mediterranean diet

 

10 basic recommendations of the Mediterranean diet

Are you sure you know exactly what the Mediterranean diet is? Are you sure that you are following it well? Here you will find ten recommendations that can help you to follow this diet. Enjoy the Mediterranean diet, enjoy de Mediterranean life...

1. Use extra virgin olive oil as the main fat addition.

 2. Consume plenty of vegetables.

 3. Bread and other foods coming from cereals must be in your diary meals.

 4. Fresh and seasonal foods are best suited.

 5. Consume dairy products daily.

 6. Meat consumption is recommended as it is a source of high quality protein.

 7. Eat fish in abundance and eggs in moderation.

 8. Fresh fruit must be your usual dessert.

 9. Drink water, it's important.

 10. Do some exercise every day.

 


Food&Tapas Team
Food&Tapas Team

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