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Mediterranean diet

Simple Ways to Blend the Mediterranean Diet Into Your Life

Monday, January 28, 2008 by: Enrico Forte
Tags: Mediterranean diet, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The main aspect of the Mediterranean diet is the high consumption of fresh fruits and 1 glass a day of red wine. Recent studies confirm the health benefits of this diet in preventing cancer and heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet is an ancient eating habit used by the Mediterranean people. It's not a strict diet but a philosophy to approach foods.

It's based on 7 simple foods categories:

* Fresh fruit (Apples, Pears, berries, oranges, lemons)

* Vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, eggplants, zucchini)

* Beans

* Pasta and bread

* Meat (poultry, rabbit, fish, goat)

* Red wine

* Milk and Cheese (from sheep)

An example of a typical eating day is based on 5 phases

* Breakfast

* Snack (11:00 AM)

* Lunch

* Snack (18:00 PM)

* Dinner

The basic concept of this diet is the "Unique plate". It means to join together different food categories.

Some examples are:

* Pasta with beans (fiber, carbs and veg. proteins)

* Pizza (veg, proteins and carbs)

* Greek salads (veg. and fruit)

Why is the Mediterranean diet so important for our health? The answer is simple: "Its foods contain healthy elements". A good example of this concept are Polyphenols. Apples and Red wines are a great source of Polyphenols. According to wikipedia, 'Polyphenols are a group of chemical substances found in plants, characterized by the presence of more than one phenol group per molecule.'

These chemicals can be found in high levels in the skins of fruits. They have an anti-oxidant effect that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Every one of us knows that eating fresh fruits daily helps in the prevention of cancer and other diseases. Do you remember the ancient saying: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? There is ample evidence to show that this idea is true. A new study conduced by the Italian cancer league (www.legatumori.it) confirms it.

Researchers have demonstrated that eating Apples helps in reducing the cancer cells of:

* 40-60% (Consumption of apples and the skin)

* 30-40% (Consumption of just the apple pulp)

Other recent studies have shown that eating apples helps to:

* Prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells (Thanks to the presence of the flavonoid Quercetin, an anti-oxidant)

* Inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells (thanks to the skin of apples)

* Reduce the risk of lung cancer

* Inhibits the development of bladder cancer (especially in smokers)

Another great source of polyphenols is Red wine.

In the November 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), some French researches found that polyphenols play a beneficial role on the heart and circulatory system. Polyphenols found in the skin and around the pips of red grapes (not White) facilitate the growth of blood vessels.

The quantity of polyphenols necessary to obtain these benefits are the equivalent of 1 glass of wine a day. The wines that boast the biggest amount of polyphenols are those using Tannat (a red wine grape grown in southern France).

Here are some tips to optimize your health through diet:

* Eat fruit out of the principal meals - You can use it as a snack. (Helpful to lose weight too)

* Eat 2 fruits at least 2 times a day (2 apples or 1 apple with orange/grape juice is a good start)

* Substitute fatty snacks with a home-made apple pie or fresh fruits or nuts.

* Drink a glass of red wine a day (Best during dinner time)

You can read more about the Mediterranean Diet:

(http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/the-mediter...) The Mediterranean diet menu

(http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http...) Translated version of the Apple study

(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10...) Study of the positive effects of red wine on the heart

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphenols) Wikipedia about Polyphenols

About the author

Enrcio Forte is the editor of http://www.mandalatrek.com "Adventure travels in Italy" and http://www.mediterraneanbook.com "All about the Mediterranean diet"

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