Healthy Eating With Mediterranean Food

January 29, 2020

There has been a lot of praise for the Mediterranean diet in recent years. It might have something to do with the fact that the cuisine is generally packed with whole grains, olive oil, lean meat, and vegetables. The delicious combinations often mean that every plate is packed with healthy fats, anti-inflammatory foods, and nutrients. So how can you bring some of the Med into your diet and reap the rewards?

Mediterranean Food

Fresh Veggies

There are very few dishes that are not brimming with fresh veggies. Giant leafy greens, sweet onions, crunchy peppers, and juicy tomatoes make many appearances. Those veggies are filled with folic acids, peppers, antioxidants, fiber, and more too. So start adding more vegetables with every meal. A great example is this delicious paella from themediterraneandish.com

Lentils

High in health benefits and low in calories and fat. The perfect food. Lentils are recommended, because they lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars, help speed up digestion, and improve heart health. Here are some lentil dishes:

  • Mediterranean Lentil Salad
  • Lentil Dip
  • Red Lentil Soup
  • Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Lentil Salad

Olive Oil

Many people are still hesitant to use olive oil in their cooking and for drizzling over food. But olive oil is packed with mono-saturated fats, which are the good kind. It is also heaving with antioxidants. And interestingly, it has been linked to helping reduce cholesterol and preventing heart disease. So, next time you are baking or cooking some delicious veggies, let loose with the olive oil. 

Chickpeas

Not only are chickpeas incredibly versatile, but they are the heart of the Mediterranean diet. They are high in fiber and protein, but they also boast a healthy helping of calcium, folic acid, iron, and zinc. Most people consume chickpeas in the form of hummus, however you can sprinkle them on salads, baked them with a little salt, or cook them with some spices. Chickpeas are a great source of serotonin, which can aid in making you feel happier. 

Dried Fruit And Nuts

Almost any healthy eating combination will say that you should eat nuts as a snack. And the Med is no different. Dried fruit and nuts have a range of body benefits for you. Nuts can help improve heart health and manage cholesterol, while dried fruits can be high in iron and help improve overall energy levels. 

Fish

You will find fish and chicken feature heavily as the primary protein sources in the Mediterranean diet. Fatty salmon, delicious mackerel, and sardines will be on most menus. These fish are known to be packed with heart and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you are not currently enjoying fish on a weekly basis, then the quickest way to do this is add salmon to your weekend breakfast or bake fish in parchment paper with herbs and lemons. 

With such an array of flavors ready to explode with every mouthful, it is no surprise that you will not typically find people from the Med rushing their food. Follow suit, slow down, and enjoy it!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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