Incredible but true: with the Mediterranean diet it is possible to prevent many diseases.
The Mediterranean diet owes its effectiveness to a prevalence of plant over animal foods, raw plant foods, many more cereals and legumes than refined starches and sugars, little meat but rather oily fish, extravirgin olive oil, fermented olives and spices like chili and capers.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in functional foods. These are foods that promote health. The functional foods of the Mediterranean diet help maintain the body in good physical form. The Mediterranean diet owes its efficacy to nutritional continuity.
Let us now look at the foods composing the Mediterranean diet. We divide them into seven groups.
GROUP I, Meat, fish and eggs: these are consumed with extreme moderation. Little meat is eaten and it is almost all lean, i.e. poultry or rabbit. The only meat from large animals is lamb and goat meat. Meat is eaten no more than once or twice a week. The fish eaten is prevalently oily fish, the major source of essential omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is consumed no more than twice or three times a week. Eggs are whole and of any type; they are consumed one to three times a week.
GROUP II, Milk and dairy foods: from sheep and goats, not cows. While milk and yogurt are quite widely used in the Mediterranean diet, cheeses are eaten in much smaller amounts. Cheese is the only fatty food of animal origin in the Mediterranean diet.
GROUPS III and IV, Cereals, tubers and legumes: eaten cooked, these are major items of the Mediterranean diet, consumed daily in moderate portions. They mainly supply energy, and if appropriately combined, provide all the essential amino acids. They are rich in fibre, water-soluble vitamins and certain mineral salts, especially magnesium; they also contain other useful molecules such as lecithin.
GROUP V, Fats and oils for condiment: The typical condiment of the Mediterranean diet is extravirgin olive oil, which is consumed daily in small quantities (few decigrams), while constituting more than half the fats in the diet.
GROUPS VI and VII, Vegetables, fruit and spices: These foods are sources of vitamins A and C and are consumed daily at all meals, especially raw. They are the only source of simple sugars (fructose). The fibre, antioxidants, phytosterols and the few good fats they contain make them protective against the diseases of affluence and many types of cancer. Their high water and potassium content ensures further protection against hypertension. Last but not least, red wine does not belong to the fundamental groups, but drinking one or two glasses a day provides many anti-cancer antioxidants and molecules such as resveratrol.
Concluding, the Mediterranean diet is a normocaloric diet to meet an active or very active style of life.
Besides promoting the Mediterranean diet and physical activity, MAGISNAT, aware of the life-styles of modern society, is collaborating with various university groups to develop a line of supplements consisting exclusively of beneficial bioactive molecules present in plants of the Mediterranean diet. The first are GARLIVE RECOVERY, based on olive polyphenols and vitamins in high doses and GARLIVE oral spray based on olive polyphenols. Our aim is to help those seeking sources of the beneficial substances found in plants of the Mediterranean diet to reduce calorie intake to normocaloric levels through a balanced diet according to the principles of the Mediterranean diet and to promote physical activity.