MIND your heart with a Spanish lifestyle
(mind is the name of a Mediterranean diet plan)
More and more nowadays we are becoming aware of the things that keep us healthy and contribute to a longer life. Heart disease is on the increase and studies have shown conclusively that the modern lifestyle is directly responsible.
If you choose to make a new life in Spain it is because you are opting for a better lifestyle. Moving house can be the perfect time to make changes that could add years to your life. Leaving behind those bad habits and making good habits.
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is the best way to improve and maintain a healthy heart. Reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
A Mediterranean diet is associated with lower levels of L.D.L. (Lower density lipoprotein) Cholesterol….that’s the “bad cholesterol” that clogs up your arteries. As we all know clogged arteries lead to strokes and ultimately dementia. https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/cholesterol.pdf
So what are the changes we must make to reduce the risk of developing heart problems and brain degeneration?
– Cut out processed foods. Most of these contain saturated and trans fats, the ones your body can’t get rid of. So ditch the frozen ready meals and start buying your produce at the local markets.
– Substitute butter and margarine for olive oil. In their uncooked states virgin and extra virgin are best. The least processed the higher the level of anti-oxidant. Organic olive oil is easy to buy in the valley and it’s delicious on fresh bread instead of butter. http://www.bodegasxalo.com/gb/
– Cut down on salt. Use herbs and spices to season your food. Look out for fresh herbs while you’re walking around the campo. Rosemary, sage and thyme are everywhere and there’s something very satisfying in carrying it home for dinner.
– Only eat red meat once or twice a week. Try to eat it rare. The more it’s cooked the more carcinogenic (cancer causing) it becomes.
– Eat more fish and poultry.
– Eat fewer fried foods.
– Exercise more. I’m not talking about running marathons. A brisk 20 minute walk three or four times a week can improve your health enormously. If you have already made the move you will know it’s a sin not to get out and walk in our beautiful countryside.
– A glass of red wine a day, in some studies, has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Of course, we are talking in moderation here!
– Forget 5 a day and aim for 7-10 a day. Fruit and vegetables are the most important part of our diet and at the local markets everything is fresh. It’s all locally sourced and no travelling time means more vitamins and minerals. Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals keeps the brain younger.
– Eat more nuts. Great as snacks and very nutritious.
– Add beans and pulses to your every day diet. Lentils and chickpeas are filling and a great substitute for potatoes, pasta and rice.
The MIND diet ( Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay ) has been developed by studies into the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Observational studies have shown this diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53% as well as slowing cognitive decline and improving verbal memory.
The figures are truly compelling.
” With a focus on real, flavourful foods, spices, olive oil, a touch of dark chocolate and a glass of wine, you can feel truly good about this way of eating. And what’s good for the body and soul – in this case – is also good for the mind”.
Extract from “The MIND diet” by Maggie Moon MS, RSN.