The Mediterranean Lifestyle

It’s been shown that individuals who live in Mediterranean countries and those who eat a Mediterranean diet enjoy better health. The diet and lifestyle embraced in the Mediterranean countries helps ward off strokes, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. To embrace this diet and lifestyle, you don’t need to make wholesale changes in your life, but rather, simply rethink your daily food choices and how you prepare your foods.

One way to get into the mindset of a healthy Mediterranean diet is by looking to the gourmet food products offered at O&CO. With gourmet extra virgin olive oil and other healthy food choices O&CO. provides it is easy to emulate the nourishing lifestyle that has worked for centuries for people who live in the Mediterranean.

Here are suggestions to help lead toward a more healthy heart by moving toward a Mediterranean lifestyle:

  1. Move away from processed foods. Fill your house, and your plate, with fresh fruits and vegetables. A healthy heart comes from eating healthy, fresh foods. By cutting down on processed foods you will eliminate much of the sodium from your diet and through this change you should see a drop in your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, low in sodium, and some are a great source of fiber. If you lower your portions of meat and increase your portions of fruits and vegetables you can also increase your heart health. Dash a bit of balsamic vinegar to enhance flavor.
  2. Eat “performance” foods. Because your body is made up of different organs and your heart is the engine, you want to eat a wide variety of foods on a daily basis. Eating healthy will also keep your body from wearing out and keep it in good working condition.
  3. Don’t forget the olive oil. You can replace saturated fats in your diet by using gourmet extra virgin olive oil in place of butter or margarine. In Mediterranean regions of the world, extra virgin olive oil is known to be the most healthful source of monounsaturated fat – the type that does not clog your arteries. Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent source of vitamin E and other antioxidants. Consider using extra virgin olive oil – either unflavored or flavored to dip bread or spread on your morning breakfast toast. Plan on using extra virgin olive oil in place of butter and margarine.
  4. Beans for better health. Lentils, chickpeas, garbanzo beans and other legumes are a staple in Mediterranean diets and have been for centuries. Legumes are loaded with folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and B vitamins. Beans are also high in fiber and low in fat and sodium. Incorporating legumes into your diet is a great way to balance your food budget because they are inexpensive and very filling.
  5. Season it up. Add garlic, aromatic herbs and onions to your diet. Flavor your dishes with O&CO. Herbes de Provence or salt and herb mixes. Use herbs instead of salt or add garlic for flavor. Garlic has also been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides and cholesterol and prevent blood clots from forming.

 

When you open your taste buds to gourmet food ingredients you enhance the flavor of the food you’re cooking. Consider drizzling truffle oil onto your food prior to serving, cooking with flavored balsamic vinegars or using flavored gourmet extra virgin olive oil to enhance the flavors of everything that you cook and serve to your friends and family.