Mars was the Roman God of War and Agriculture. In fact, the month of March is named after Mars and symbolizes blessing of agriculture (or as we call it, spring!). Health, nutrition, diet (mostly vegetables) and vitality were some of the most important aspects of Roman life and key reasons for their rise to power.
The Romans understood the correlation between nutrition and vitality and paid homage and “worshiped” the concept. In fact, the Romans had one of the most prolific and sophisticated agriculture systems in history. Good nutrition lead to healthier bodies and minds. These healthy bodies and minds made up the legions, auxilia and guard of the Roman empire army which dominated and ruled western civilization. Good agriculture = strong army = positive outcome in war = happy Gods.
The Roman Diet was Simple
A broad assortment of vegetables, legumes, olives, nuts and leaner meats (fish, poultry, rabbit – when available) were staples for the Roman diet. It is akin to the “Paleo diet” of modern times which states “If you can’t grow it or kill it, don’t eat it.”
Rich in nutrients, low in fats and sugars, the essential concept of the ancient Roman diet is still recommended by nutritionists and health professionals today for healthy body function and optimal weight.
Where America’s Nutrition Falls Short
It is recommended that we consume 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. And only 1 in 10 adults in the US meet that recommendation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a result, we are missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals and fibers that vegetables provide.
This puts 9 out of 10 Americans at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. A lack of vegetables also leads to vitamin deficiencies which cause: fatigue, frequent bruising of the skin, lingering sickness, foggy memory, increased stress, muscle cramps and weight gain.
Eat Vegetables like a Ancient Roman
If we want to feel good, have good health, strength and vitality, we need to put good things in our body. We actually are what we eat. The ancient Romans knew that over 2000 years ago!
Vegetables add nutrients to your body that will help protect it against disease and illness. Eating the right amount of vegetables will also support weight loss and maintenance.
We have access to abundant and fresh produce like never before in history. Spinach, kale, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions – shall I go on? There are so many options and ways to prepare – from raw, to sautéed, to baked to smoothies, there is a way for everyone to consume their veggies.
The important thing to remember is that our bodies need vegetables, so let’s give ourselves what we need and treat our bodies with honor—that is a sure way to reap the harvest that you desire. Mars will be proud and reward you 🙂