Half and Half Man -- Mr Acqua Minerale and the 'Mediterranean Diet'

Here I sit at the computer with a glass of green tea and mineral water -- my favorite beverage -- at my side.

I make up a flask of the mix almost every day and the deep screw top lid on the flask keeps the bubbles in.

When I teach dance it goes with me to pep up my juices.

I'm a green-tea-and-mineral-water junkie. An half and half man.

For the purposes of  imbibing  intoxicants I mix cheap red wine with mineral water.

You guessed it: half mineral water and half wine.

Mr Acqua Minerale. (But I don't soak my socks in it.)

Of course it tastes great and I love drinking the stuff but as a person who has suffered the  Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune I appreciate the health benefits  of the mix esp its diuretic impacts.

I can't rule on the many health claims made for the consumption of green  tea, but from my experience I find that drinking this  mix  means that over Summer I don't get oedematous feet.

You say, "well so what? Swollen ankles is no big deal"

Of yes it is. I've had them for years , esp over the hot months. Even took to wearing the pressure band long socks. Swollen feet turned me into a ponderous geriatric, slowed down my gait and made me feel like  cripple.

Socks. Elevating the legs. Exercise.... Nothing seemed to work.

Until I got a taste with the green tea/mineral water mix, I suffered.

Now I don't. Full stop.

While the health benefits of mineral water may  be relevant -- esp the electrolytes -- I suspect that it's the combined effect of the two components -- tea and spa water --  that has consequence.

To get such a return from what I think is a delicious drink has to be all good.

If I thought it was simply a diuretic thing I wouldn't mention this. But it's not. It's not just because I drink 'plenty of fluids' or that I drink fluids that have reputed diuretic properties: 
Based on biological activity, mineral waters are usually classified as: diuretic waters, cathartic waters, waters with anti-inflammatory properties (Link)
..and tea, of course, is also a diuretic. I used to drink the tea alone without these effects on my body. I've been drinking green tea steeped in cold water for years without registering these  impacts.

So there: that's my domestic research report. My anecdotal input.

Of related interest is this review of the literature on the 'Mediterranean Diet' (my emphasis):
Through a subtractive statistical technique, the EPIC investigators calculated that the biggest chunk of the health advantage -- 24% -- came from moderate alcohol consumption (predominantly wine).
The other relative contributions were:
17% from low consumption of meat and meat products
16% from high vegetable consumption
11% from high fruit and nut consumption
11% from high monounsaturated-to-saturated lipid ratio (largely due to olive oil consumption)
10% from high legume consumption
"Over the years the emphasis has changed," Trichopoulou told attendees, noting that not only have Mediterranean countries progressively fallen off of their traditional diet, but the way they follow it has changed as well.
"In the 1960s, 40% of the energy intake [in Greece] was from lipids," she said. "They ate a lot of olive oil."
A recent randomized trial from Spain indicated a similar benefit from olive oil and from nuts in the Mediterranean diet for prevention of cardiovascular events in a high-risk population.

Since I eat my way around the Mediterranean Sea every week-- today, mainly I eat Turkish  cuisine -- it is always interesting how hyped up the Medit diet gets. Unfortunately it's all a bit mythical as there is not 'one' Mediterranean diet but several. Indeed the diet tends to be a mythological diet invented by US researchers.:

The real Mediterranean diet is high in meat (if it moves, it is eaten – rabbit, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, game, snails etc); fish; cheese; eggs; cream; vegetables and salads; fruits in season and white grains (white bread, white rice, white pasta). Those who eat more of the real food are slim. Those who eat more of the pasta become “Italian mammas”.
The first reference in the study is thus wrong. It claims “The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereals; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; a low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets; and wine in moderation, consumed with meals.”
This is what Americans, who have never been to the Med, fantasise that the Mediterranean diet is. However, the truth is that the French/Italians/Greek etc are eating their body weight in red meat and cheese and “wine in moderation” would have an Italian rolling in the aisles. Here are the top wine drinking countries in the world. The prime Mediterranean countries, France and Italy, are in the top five. But for the staggering consumption of the Vatican City, they would be higher! ;-)



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