The Mediterranean diet is said to be a healthier way of living, leading to a longer life and is supposed to be better than any anti-depressant. So what is it that is so good about these Mediterranean habits?
Family dining. Source: Terrace.
1. The way of life
The balance is the most important aspect of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Most of the Mediterranean people including the Italians, Greeks and the Spanish, emphasise the importance of community, family and good relationships. They lead a comfortably paced life, in contrast to us Londoners who are constantly on the go and inevitably in a rush to catch the next tube. The low levels of stress keep down blood pressure, cause less strain on the heart and the best part of it of all is the ability to sit back and enjoy life just as it is.
Food market. Source: Another American in Provence.
2. The diet
Eating the Mediterranean food could be the key to living longer and reducing signs of ageing. In Cypriot cooking, most dishes are made with local fresh ingredients including herbs, spices, grains, fresh vegetables, slender meat, seafood and of course the main ingredient: olive oil. All of these contain an excess amount of vitamins that are necessary to create the anti-depressant hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Apart from the dishes, the Mediterranean culture stresses the values of hospitality, friendliness and family. Eating together and bringing friends and family to indulge with delicious meals is really significant – it creates a healthy and positive environment and that adds to their longevity.
Crete. Source: Car Hire Market.
3. The weather
Generally, throughout the year the weather in the Mediterranean countries definitely plays a large role in keeping the blues away. There are obviously a few stormy and rainy days, yet even on winter days you can predict the clear skies and the sun at some point, which makes the lower temperatures more acceptable. The constant presence of the sun improves peoples’ moods and helps to boost the levels of serotonin. The sun also gives off vitamin D (which can be found in fish and other oily foods). This all important vitamin can prevent many health issues including diabetes. Summer in places like Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Italy provides copious hours of sun and multiple beaches to choose from.
Fire eater. Source: My Destination.
4. The nightlife
With Spain having one of the best party destinations – Ibiza, the nightlife in the Mediterranean never disappoints, regardless of your age. There nightlife is lively, dynamic and spontaneous with an unlimited amount of options to choose from, including clubs, bars, lounges and more. It may not be that obvious how a night out can act as an antidepressant, but surrounding yourself with a group of good friends and having a good time sounds promising. Spain has Sangria, Cyprus has Zivania and Greece has Ouzzo – what more could you want?