From one of the capitals of taste and excellence, home to many internationally renowned PDOs and PGIs, but also the land of many medicinal plants that are the subject of in-depth studies, an idea was born related to well-being that on quality nutrition such as the elixir of long life. The Terre della Salute project could only have its heart in Siena, presented last Saturday in Santa Maria della Scala during an event, born in collaboration with the Municipality of Siena, which also saw the participation of eminent doctors and scientists of the sector. On the same day, professors, doctors and researchers surveyed the magnificent dirt roads of our territory, the scene of major sporting events, but also the daily destination of thousands of trekking or cycling enthusiasts, sports also practiced as a way of life. Along the Francigena there have been tastings of excellence such as saffron, honey, wine, beer, chestnuts and many other products appreciated for their organoleptic qualities but also the object of scientific research that demonstrate how the use of these raw materials not only pampers the palate but is good for the health of our body. On the other hand, research shows that health also depends on respect for the environment, modes and times of production and consumption.
The mission. Science and communication are the two pillars on which Terre della Salute is based, which will develop with various activities aimed at disseminating on a large scale the most advanced research and scientific knowledge in the field of nutrition, lifestyle and health. health through a cycle of face-to-face meetings. The engine of the project is a scientific committee of absolute value assisted by a team of communication professionals who will take care of the dissemination on digital and traditional channels: the official portal of the project (www.terredellasalute.it) is already online with missions, podcasts, updates and first published scientific research. A container of studies and a precious archive that will be constantly updated and the heritage of all those who want to consult it.
Research the key to well-being. The studies that have multiplied over the years have produced many interesting ideas to follow in order to prevent problems and diseases. An example? Drinking water is a “panacea” to overcome cough. As Professor Alessandro Zanasi, pulmonologist and director of the Sismer Center for the Study and Treatment of Cough in Bologna, explains, “those who drink less water cough more. Children who drink little suffer from cough almost twice as much as the others. Our study reveals that more than 60% of Italian children do not drink enough. 90% of dehydrated children suffer from cough compared to 52% of hydrated children”. Sometimes an elixir of well-being comes from the heritage of the territory thanks to its precious medicinal herbs which are the subject of research studies. Professor Marco Biagi, researcher at the University of Siena in the Department of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences, details the subject. “The lands of health are those where the medicinal plants useful to man are born, but the lands of health are also those where these medicinal plants are rigorously studied and form part of a medicine based on scientific data.
The University of Siena and the city have been and still are the national reference for the study and training in phytotherapy”. A commitment that has produced important results. The research has mainly led to the “valorization of local food products and by-products, as in the case of the intestinal protective properties of the Venanzio bean variety typical of Murlo or the marked antioxidant activity of the chestnut leaves of the Bastarda variety Rossa d’Arcidosso. . But not only: the study of the medicinal plants of the region led to the rediscovery of important ethnopharmacological traditions. This is the case – continues Biagi – of the study of the so-called herb of the Madonna for the treatment of difficult wounds or cistus for the treatment of viral infections”. And speaking of viral infections, a collaboration between the University of Siena and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INMI) “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome has been able to demonstrate how bee propolis, a resinous and therefore vegetable substance that bees collect buds and bark from plants, can counter the replication of the coronavirus which causes Covid-19.
Health is cultivating beauty. And prevention is also a recipe that works to slow the signs of aging. According to Pucci Romano, surgeon, specialist in dermatology and venereology and professor of Dermatological Techniques applied to cosmetology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, “is there a way to distance time and cultivate beauty ? The skin hides nothing and beauty is too often understood as an ephemeral and frivolous parameter, when on the contrary it is the favorite daughter of health! And cultivating it is above all about feeling good”.
Cancer prevention depends on our food choices. The correlation between health and lifestyles is a central theme of research. “At the moment, researchers – explains Professor Antonio Giordano of the Department of Medical Biotechnology of the University of Siena – are unable to make genetic predictions about when, to what extent and where a certain “environmental insult” can determine DNA sequence alterations More certain, however, that multiple genetic alterations, under certain conditions, can lead to the appearance of cancers and other serious pathologies Lifestyle habits (avoiding excess weight, maintaining physical activity, not not consuming high-calorie and sugary foods, etc.) play a decisive role in the appearance of cancer to the point that one in three cases of cancer could be avoided if they were correctly adopted”.
Terre della Salute Scientific Group. Coordinated by Stefano Ciatti, president of Vino e Salute, the scientific group (in progress) is formed by Annalisa Santucci, Antonio Giodanol, Teresita Mazzei, Maria Cristina Petrella, Pucci Romano, Marco Biagi, Alessandro Zanasi, Paolo Ceccarelli, Gilberto Martelli, Giovanni Biggio, Claudio Regoli, Maurizio Masini.