Sardinia, Italy is where the very first Blue Zone in the world was identified. A Blue Zone is a geographical area where the population has low rates of chronic disease and lives longer than anywhere else. The Mediterranean diet has long been lauded for the long lifespan it can produce.
Italians, on average, live longer than most of the rest of Europe, as well as most people here in the US. There are, of course, dozens of different factors that contribute to this. But diet certainly can’t be ignored.
So, what is it that makes Italian cuisine so special? Lots, actually! Read on to learn about the many benefits of eating Italian food.
A Focus On Fresh
At the heart of Italian cooking are fresh, natural ingredients. Everything is homemade, ingredients are rarely processed, and the flavors speak for themselves. Eating home-cooked meals with family is a huge part of the Italian lifestyle.
With such a big focus on fresh ingredients and little processed food, the Italian diet is great for the body. Heavily processed foods often include unhealthy levels of added sugar, sodium, and fat.
A Variety of Veggies
Italian recipes are typically loaded with vegetables. Minestrone soup, eggplant parmigiana, pasta primavera—all served with big, beautiful side salads. These are the things that Italians eat day in, day out.
Vegetables contain essential nutrients and are usually low in fat and calories. They’re also high in fiber, something our body needs to function well. And something most Americans are seriously lacking.
One thing the Mediterranean diet—and the Italian diet in particular—is full of is healthy oily fish. Italians love all sorts of seafood, from calamari and shrimp to snapper and sardines. Fish and shellfish feature heavily in the diet of pretty much every Italian family.
This is great news because fish has amazing health benefits. Fish is filled with essential nutrients such as vitamins D and B2. But even better than this, it’s one of the only natural sources of the all-important omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be instrumental in lowering the risk of chronic disease. They are also great for reducing cholesterol and promoting heart health.
Antioxidants With Your Antipasti
Italians tend to eat a lot of fruits, nuts, grains, beans, and leafy green vegetables. These provide many great health benefits. They’re packed with vitamins, protein, and iron.
But one of the best things about these foods is the antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals and help to stave off the onset of many different types of diseases. They play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy.
One other place you can find antioxidants? Red wine!
Italian Cuisine Health Benefits
Italian cuisine is fresh, flavorsome, and filled with amazing health benefits. If you’d like to see for yourself what all the fuss is about, why not come down and sample something from our menu? Give us a call to make a reservation today.