Italian food is a way of life. Healthy eating is at the
top of the list. Learn how this cultural dimension can improve your health!
The Italian people live life with enthusiasm and
spontaneity, ever aware of the changes in seasons, in minute deal and with a great deal of celebrating each new and
subtle change. Italians know just when the cherry trees will blossom and savor each day's changing landscape. In a
people so sensitive to nature, it's no surprise that this should extend to Italian food as
The fruits of the garden, forests, streams and oceans
are enjoyed each at their brief seasons. When fennel is in season, the Italian cook puts together every fennel
concoction, which families enjoy, day after day. Then the fennel is gone and the ritual is repeated with the next
It stands to reason that foods, picked and prepared at the height of freshness, are more
nutritious. The liberal use of olive oil contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Fresh fish are packed with
Omega-3 fatty acids. Lots of greens find their way into Italian food, so you get your healthy dose of fiber.
There's no question that the Italian diet is good for you.
However, this isn't all there is to it. What you eat certainly contributes to a healthy or
ill condition. When you add the cultural dimension of Italian food enjoyment to the simple eating of the food, the
health benefits you get are greatly magnified.
In America, the hectic pace of life may force us to gobble down a meal in mere minutes. We
end up with this eating pattern as the norm. We barely have time to enjoy the food. This isn't good for the
digestion and chances are that it wasn't all that nutritious or freshly cooked. This common 'grab a meal' style
just adds to our everyday stress.
By contrast, Italians take meal time very seriously. When they sit down to a meal, they intend to enjoy every
bite. Much conversation centers on the particular virtues of that beautiful asparagus dish, or the particularly
fragrant wild mushrooms in this pasta. A lunch or dinner may easily last three hours. People eat slowly, converse,
laugh a lot and enjoy their food. You can see how this would be good for your digestion and decrease your tension
Simplicity is also signature in Italian food dishes. For example, a famous and of course, seasonal Roman dish is
puntarelli, composed of ice-crispy chicory leaves, served with an anchovy vinaigrette. The combination is heavenly,
but certainly simple. Italians are masters of the perfectly matched ingredients.
Although there are many famous and highly caloric sweet Italian desserts, these are not everyday fare. Dessert
usually consists of a plate of cheese and fresh fruit. The cheese is a locally produced fresh cheese and the fruit
is at the peak of the season.
Take up the Mediterranean diet and take the time to enjoy it, Italian style. You'll probably live to a ripe old
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