The mild seasons of Spain are definitely appealing to many compared to the long, cold winters and sparse summer days we tend to have in the UK: Without doubt, this simple difference is frequently a reason why many will at least consider moving abroad. However, there are some healthy reasons why Spain is a good selection: One of those is indeed the sunshine, the other is the classic Mediterranean diet.
Arthritis & the Sunshine
The sun can heal, prevent health issues and as most of us know these days, it can also create health issues. While sitting in the hot Spanish sun for hours, or leaving off the sunscreen is definitely not a healthy choice, scientists are finding that 15 minutes of sun a day can be very beneficial. How? Why?
Latest figures disclose that around 400, 000 people in the UK suffer from arthritis. While some foods do contain vitamin D, primarily our body manufactures it from direct sunlight and this is our main source. Professor Alan Silman, investigating for Arthritis Research UK, said: “Many people with arthritis have low levels of vitamin D and this can effect the types of immune cells which may cause this condition.” Another study carried out by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, recently published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, also linked this disease to the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D.
While too much sun, particularly without sunblock, is known to provoke skin cancer, experts say just a fifteen minute dose of sunshine will boost vitamin D manufacture, without causing damage. If one thing is virtually certain, in Spain you will get that 15 minutes a day!
The Mediterranean Diet
Olive oil, fish, fruit and vegetables are primary ingredients in the Spanish diet. Popular dishes which include oily fish such as mackerel and sardines can provide essential vitamin D. In addition, research presented to the American Chemical Society in Boston revealed “All fruits and vegetables that are rich in anthocyanins have compounds that can slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, whether in experiments in laboratory dishes or inside the body.” Red and purple vegetables were found to have among the highest levels – Ingredients that play an essential part within r Spanish/Mediterranean diet such as aubergines, tomatoes and red peppers.
Other studies, carried out in the last ten years, have also discovered the Mediterranean diet could be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as reducing the risk of dying from cancer by 6%. The heavy consumption of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet is also thought to lower the risk of developing cancer.
For those who might be considering the benefits of a Spanish lifestyle, this research gives some definitive, pro-active health reasons to actually make that move.
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