Before the Keto diet, there was the Mediterranean diet. What is a Mediterranean diet? It features lots of fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Health specialists tout its ability to increase heart health, combat diabetes, enhance weight loss, and more. Growing a Mediterranean diet garden is an excellent way to harness these benefits right from your backyard. Learn tips on how to grow your own Mediterranean diet foods.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
Scientists have identified blue zones across the world. These are locations where citizens live longer, healthier lives than in other regions. The reasons for these vary but often come down to diet. In Italy, Sardinia is the home to some of the oldest living denizens. The credit is mostly due to their adherence to a Mediterranean diet, which has become popular in other countries.
Gardening for Mediterranean diets provides easy access to the fruits and vegetables necessary to follow this healthy lifestyle.
Fruits and vegetables for a Mediterranean diet tend to prefer temperate conditions, but many are hardy. Items like olive oil, fresh fish, and fresh veggies are the highlights of the diet. While you can’t grow a fish, you can plant foods that will enhance your Mediterranean lifestyle. Suggested foods for the Mediterranean diet garden are:
Gardening for Mediterranean Diets
Make sure your plant selections are hardy to your region. Most fruits and vegetables for a Mediterranean diet can thrive in USDA zones 6 and above. Plant herbs close to the kitchen or even in containers in the kitchen for easy access. Backyard gardening not only allows ease of access for healthy foods but allows you to control what goes into them.
Use only organic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to prevent all those nasty chemicals. Check soil before you plant and plan the layout early so you can have any plants and seeds ready for your zones planting time. Most Mediterranean foods prefer slightly acidic soil that drains well but has a high quotient of nutrients, so your beds may need amendments.
Benefits of Mediterranean Diet Gardens
Not convinced you should grow your own Mediterranean diet foods? Outside of their ability to enhance heart health, reduce diabetes severity, and combat certain cancers, they also tend to improve cognition. Plus, consider the cardio that goes into turning compost, digging tree holes, and preparing garden beds.
Gardening is also a means to increase flexibility. The moderate exercise will also reduce stress. Remember that “dirt makes you happy.” Soil has antidepressant microbes that improve mood and attitude.