Atkins, weight watchers, detox, macrobiotic…our society is obsessed with healthy food and dieting. But a lot of times these diets are too demanding for our body, or even unhealthy. But what if we tell you that there is diet, a lifestyle even, with nothing but positive effects? Welcome to southern Europe, embrace the Mediterranean way of life!
Experts, nutritionists and scientists all agree: the Mediterranean diet, the typical food of Spain and Greece, is one of the healthiest in the world. Are we ready to talk numbers? You are 30% less likely to develop depression and the risk of cancer is reduced by 22%. It protects you from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, helps to slow Alzheimer’s, and has a positive effect on children who suffer from asthma and allergies. So what is it exactly that these people eat?
Rule number one: replace butter with olive oil. 2 tablespoons a day already reduces the risk of a heart attack. If you ask a Spaniard why he doesn’t cook his salmon with butter, he’ll throw you out of his kitchen immediately. Fish is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, and is usually grilled with olive oil.
Another important element is fruits, vegetables and nuts. A Spanish specialty is gazpacho, a cold tomatoe soup, which is healthy because raw vegetables contain more enzymes. Grilled red peppers, lentils, green asparagus and mushrooms are frequently on the menu. Also, Spain produces a lot of fruit,that is very sweet and juicy thanks to the climate.
Seafood is very popular and is cooked in a different, healthier way. Sepia or squid is grilled in olive oil (a la plancha), just like the gamba’s or shrimps. Mussels or mejillones are steamed instead of cooked, and even white fish such as cod is boiled rather then baked. People do eat red meat of course, but much less than people in colder countries.
Olives; another delicacy. It is highly recommended to eat 7 olives a day. They are antioxidants, full of vitamin B and magnesium. They come in over 90 varieties, so surely there will be at least one type you like. Olives are also a traditional tapa, just like anchovies. They do contain a lot of salt, but the omega makes up for that.
But what about alcohol? It’s full of sugar and bad for you, right? Well, it depends. Studies proved that one glass of red wine per day raises the good cholesterol level and thins the blood, which is good for the hearth. Spain is the 3rd largest producer of wine in the world. So sit back and enjoy a good glass of crianza or reserve.
So what do you say? The food is delicious and healthy; you will be more fit and full of energy. You can try all the recipes in your own kitchen, but why not first go see how the professionals do it? Take a break in Valencia, enjoy the Spanish rhythm, the good weather and great food. And for a relaxing stay, rent the best apartments in Valencia.