The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have signed a two-year deal to promote the values of sports, food and gastronomy.
The initiative is part of the Spanish Food strategy developed by the ministry to promote a healthy lifestyle linked to the Mediterranean diet. The ministry intends to take advantage of the connection between food, sports and a healthy lifestyle to promote Spanish agri-food products locally and internationally.
Sport is a valuable promoter of healthy lifestyles such as the one favored by the Mediterranean diet. Soccer acts as an ambassador for Spanish agri-food products.
“In the case of sports entities, it is considered that sport can be a valuable promoter of a healthy lifestyle, such as that favored by the Mediterranean diet, which implies a varied diet linked to moderate sports practice,” the ministry said.
“Soccer, due to its firm roots in our society and its broad international appeal, can act as an excellent ambassador for Spanish agri-food products,” the ministry added.See Also: 40 Years of the Mediterranean Diet
Over the years, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet contains various compounds that enhance athletic performance compared with the Western diet.
Previous studies have suggested that the high levels of nitrates and antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and alkalizing capabilities, may improve endurance during sporting activities and exercise.
Another recent study found that olive oil consumption increases testosterone in men with insufficient levels. Higher levels of testosterone have also been associated with improved athletic performance.
Additionally, moderate consumption of whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables has been shown to help maintain muscle strength, high energy levels and support moderate exercise.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, adhering to the Mediterranean diet improves athletic performance; however, these benefits are quickly lost when people switch to less healthy diets.
Due to the growing body of evidence connecting nutrition and athletic performance, the ministry saw the country’s governing body of soccer as a natural partner.
The RFEF oversees the Spanish Primera División, which is home to two of the world’s most successful clubs: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. The RFEF also runs the Spanish men’s national team, which won the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
According to the last available data from the Primera División, an average of 4.6 million people tuned in each week on paid television to watch the competition during the 2018/19 season.
“Sport is a valuable promoter of healthy lifestyles such as the one favored by the Mediterranean diet,” the RFEF said. “Soccer acts as an ambassador for Spanish agri-food products.”