Are you considering spicing up your cooking sessions in the kitchen with a bold and bright Mediterranean twist? Mediterranean food is among the most diverse in the world comprising of multiple culturally inspired cuisines spanning several millennia of constant development of their cooking techniques. You could literally fill the whole week with unique Mediterranean dishes day in and day out as you savor each bite like a Roman aristocrat at the table. Today we’ll talk about wholesome recipes with big Mediterranean flavors from Greece and Italy, to Morocco, the Middle East and more!
First allow me to explain the details of what a Mediterranean diet looks like. The whole gamut of Mediterranean food begins and ends with virgin olive oil! My favorites are Greek Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil and Tenuta Di Capezzana extra virgin olive oil. There are a myriad of ways to cook food with virgin olive oil and the main reason why chef love to use it is, because it has a lot of health benefits. Basically when you want to switch up to a Mediterranean Diet, then you need to eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes.
You eat lean proteins (fish and some poultry) moderately, and significantly reduce red meats and sweets in your diet (Mediterranean Diet discourages people from consuming too much sugar or salt). Chefs also use fresh herbs, garlic, citrus, and spices to create additional flavoring to the dishes.
Why the Mediterranean Diet?
It was around the 1960s that the world took notice about the unusually few deaths related to coronary heart disease in in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy compared to northern Europe and the United States, and that Mediterranean Diet had something to do about it. Future scientific research would prove that there is a link between Mediterranean Diet and the lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
Ever since these peer-reviewed journals was published, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended Americans to include or completely shift to the Mediterranean Diet by consuming vegetables, fruits and herbs in order to promote health and prevent chronic disease.
The W.H.O. (World Health Organization) also echoed the findings of the peer-reviewed journals regarding Mediterranean Diet and considered it as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern that has tons of longterm health benefits. Meanwhile the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) offers the same recommendation.
The Mediterranean Diet is Plant-Based and Not Meat-Based
The Mediterranean Diet is mostly plant-based, which means that you get all the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and a myriad of other health benefits. Each and every meal prepared is rooted in these principles. Minor foods included in the Mediterranean Diet are dairy, poultry and eggs. On the other hand, red meat is not preferred and is only consumed in rare occasions.
Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
By completely switching to the Mediterranean Diet and combining it with a moderate workout or any physical activity that helps burns calories, can help improve your overall health and lower your risk of developing physical illnesses – and even mental illnesses as well.
The following shows you how that happens:
Preventing Heart Disease and Strokes – By strictly following a Mediterranean Diet, you essentially limit or totally remove red meat, processed foods and refined breads from your daily food consumption – on top of that you’re also encouraged to drink red wine instead of other heavy alcohol-infused spirits – all of which contribute to prevent you from acquiring or developing heart disease and stroke.
Retains your Agility – No more aching backs and joint pains even in your old age, as a Mediterranean Diet will keep your muscles strong, and reduce risk of developing muscle entropy by a factor of 70% give or take.
Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s – Two new studies namely BMJ Journals and Neurology show that having a Mediterranean Diet lowers bad cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance, as well as improves blood vessel health, which theoretically may also lower the risk for any person to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Cut Parkinson’s Disease Risk by 50 Percent – Mediterranean Diet is loaded with antioxidant foods and because of this your cells are protected from being damaged by free radicals and undergo a process known as oxidative stress, which significantly reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by as much as 50%.
Promote Longevity – With the reduction of risks on developing cardiovascular diseases or cancer, then it’s safe to say that the Mediterranean Diet also helps prolong your life by 20% at the very least.
Preventive Maintenance Against Developing Diabetes Type 2 – You know, all those fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes all give you a good amount of dietary fibers. These fibers help digest the food you ate slowly, which prevents any surges of blood sugar in your body, thereby preventing your body to develop the diabetes type 2 disease.