Mana here. Writing from home on this lovely evening with a glass of red wine on my desk.
In the many years of university as a nutrition student, I’ve been told that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets to follow. It reduces the risk of hypertension, heart disease, as well as so many other health problems.
Do you know what the Mediterranean diet mainly consists of? Many servings of fruits and vegetables per day, accompanied by a few servings of nuts, legumes, and whole grain products. In addition, the Mediterranean diet insists on lots of olive oil on a daily basis. It suggests limiting red meat to only a few times per month, chicken and other poultry to once or twice a week, and enjoying fish, mainly fatty fish, a few time a week.
Now, we get to my favourite part of the diet. It allows drinking wine, especially red wine, 2-4 glasses per week. Since red wine is my favourite alcoholic drink, I follow this part of the Mediterranean diet religiously! Let’s do a quick overview of how the mechanism works.
Meats and dairy products have phoshatidylcoline and L-Carnitine. When metabolized by the body, the liver turns them into TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide). TMAO is the compound resposinble for increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Then, there is a molecule called TMB (3,3',5,5'-Tetramethylbenzidine), which inhibits the enzymes that produce TMAO. This means that we can use TMB in our favour to reduce the production of TMAO in our body and hence, reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. The main natural food source for TMB is red wine. Other sources of it include extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Luckily, all of these TMB sources are super tasty and easy to get.
I believe that understanding the chemistry of food to a certain extent can make our decisions about food easier. I hope you enjoyed this summary about the Mediterranean diet. In the next few blog posts, we’ll be looking at other beneficial food combinations and their mechanism of action. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you’re interesting in knowing about specific food combinations.
See you next time!