And the winner is? Italy gets first place as the healthiest country in the world!

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing about the Mediterranean diet and it’s wonderful benefits.

Recently the Bloomberg Global Health Index announced Italy as the healthiest country in the world! Despite the struggling economy in this country, they have continued to value healthy eating!

The Mediterranean diet is to be congratulated as one of the main sources as to Italy’s success.

Key components to this diet is that it is primarily a plant-based diet which includes several serves of fruit and vegetables daily, wholegrains, legumes and nuts. Fish and poultry are eaten twice a week but red meat is limited to a few times a month.

What I love about the Mediterranean diet is that it doesn’t rely on heavy amounts of salt to flavour the food. An abundance of fresh herbs and lots of spices are used in recipes, which adds lots of depth to every bite you take!

Not only that, researchers have found the Mediterranean diet is proving to be a powerful support treatment for depression. Studies have taken place at the Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, and outcomes are showing that a Mediterranean diet can make a positive difference to a person’s mood.

This is definitely good news! For more details go to:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-31/mediterranean-diet-can-help-in-fight-against-depression-study/8224522

The good news for Australia is that we were 5th on the Bloomberg Global Health Index and for many, they can say it’s because they have chosen to eat healthy and drink lots of water. Alongside that, many are embracing the foundations that the Mediterranean diet promotes – eating together and participating in physical exercise.

We cannot underestimate what a difference connection can make to our wellbeing. Eating on our own is pleasant when we are looking for some time out but generally speaking, in my opinion, we were made to gather and do life together over a wholesome and lovingly prepared meal.

And as for physical exercise, I sure do miss my days of playing netball or soccer but Saturdays have become very precious for me and instead I now aim to walk and swim each morning to start my day off.

What is it that you need to do to add more ‘health’ to your everyday habits?

Over the years, I have made a conscious effort to cut out any ‘snack foods’ that were not so good for me. Foods such as lollies, sweet drinks and chips.

For a short time in my childhood, my parents owned a ‘mixed business’ shop and for my siblings and I, that was like sugar heaven on earth! Even when the Streets or Peters ice cream truck would turn up to make his delivery, we would ask for the broken ice creams he would often have in the back of his truck and would love to give to us. What a nice man!

Nowadays, I try to consume as little refined sugar as possible as well as limiting my intake of trans-fats. It’s hard though when I am experimenting and making a new cake or slice, I’ve got to taste it because even though I love the opinion of my ever so faithful taste-testers, I need to know for myself!

So really, do what you’ve got to do to get yourself back on track eating and drinking healthy, participating in some enjoyable exercise everyday and most importantly, find your tribe and connect with them on a regular basis.