There has been a lot in the press recently about how a Mediterranean diet can help depression. My great friend Stu who lives in Sydney Australia is red hot at sending me the latest articles and news reports from Australia on the subject. Thank you Stu!
The study at Deakin University in Victoria Australia found that although diet is not a replacement for traditional treatments and people suffering from depression shouldn’t replace therapy and drug treatments with the Mediterranean diet eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereal grains, olive oil and fish can really help improve our moods.
The Mediterranean diet has been associated with good health, including a healthier heart. A 2013 study found that people following a Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Win win all round. If we aim to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and lean meat we are on the road to better health. Olive oil is used in most Mediterranean dishes:
“Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, helping lower your risk of heart disease. It may even benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, and therefore potentially lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Good-quality olive oil contains important vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants.”
Spain, France and Italy are all known for delicious dishes and of course eating outside in the sunshine always helps you feel better. One of my favourite soups from Spain that I mentioned in my “Souptatsic post” is Gazpacho. Ripe delicious tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, garlic all whizzed up in their incredibly healthy raw state and served chilled. Spain is also famous for it’s Tapas, little portions of appetizers like mixed olives, Spanish tortilla, crispy squid, chorizo, roasted peppers.
France is renowned for ‘Salade Nicoise’ composed of tomatoes, tuna, hard boiled eggs, olives and anchovies. ‘Salade Verte’ plain green salad which is eaten most days with either lunch or dinner. Greens such as watercress, chicory, dandelion leaves, lambs lettuce tossed in a French dressing.
Italy with it’s gorgeous beef tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some torn fresh basil leaves. Wild rocket and parmesan salad, Antipasto salad. Fresh pesto made with pine nuts, basil, parmesan, olive oil and garlic tossed through some fresh pasta.
As the weather gets better and spring gets under way we can make some of these dishes together to enjoy in the sun.
© Catriona Macdougall cookyourselfhappier.com, 2017
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