More and more the Mediterranean diet is not only about the traditional eating habits around the Mediterranean region, but it is also recognized as a “must” dietary lifestyle by medical professionals and nutritionists. However, can the Mediterranean diet protect us from the pandemic’s (COVID-19) outbreak?
There is proof of the Mediterranean diet’s anti-inflammatory benefits, due to the high intake of a wide variety of bioactive compounds. Its impact is positive benefiting our immune system via the low intake of processed, unhealthy foods. Scientific evidence indicates that being on a diet rich in plant-based food affects positively the human body.
The Mediterranean Diet provides the human body with polyphenols, have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-thrombotic properties, which are valuable allies against severe illnesses caused by COVID-19. Few examples from the high-phenolic Mediterranean foods are extra virgin oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, red wine, and whole-grain cereals.
Also, those nutrients have been proven to protect us from allergic respiratory diseases. In addition, a study published by MDPI shows that Vitamin C benefits the upper respiratory system; thus, next time you go grocery shopping … remember to grab some berries, fruits, and leafy greens. Apart from Vitamin C, fruits, and vegetables, along with nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, offer Vitamin E, which is very important for our immune system.
In line with the mentioned benefits, Vitamin D, which is contained in various foods of the Mediterranean Diet, can prevent acute respiratory infections. By consuming eggs, mushrooms, milk, and dairy products, as well as fatty fish like salmon, one can increase their level of Vitamin D. Zinc, one more trace element, can also help us fight respiratory diseases – like COVID-19 – and can be found in foods like meat, legumes, and dairy.
When talking about an epidemic that has greatly altered our everyday lives, it is important to perceive food as a mean to achieve both physical and mental health. Fortunately, the Mediterranean Diet has positive effects on people’s psychology, which is negatively influenced by the pandemic.
There is proof that a balanced diet that mainly contains larger quantities of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, fish, and olive oil, and limits – but does not exclude – meat and dairy in products, can make people less prone to mental health issues, like depression. Having analyzed few benefits of the Mediterranean’s Diet, it is made clear that fatty or high-in-sugar foods, along with processed products, could lead to such problems.
Our suggestion – seek a natural shield against COVID-19 and fuel your body with the goods of the Mediterranean diet!