The Mediterranean Nutrition is the world’s healthiest diet! This year is the fourth year in a row in which it has been voted as the No. 1 diet by the U.S. News & World Report. It is abundant in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and of course its core ingredient; extra virgin olive oil!
The Mediterranean Nutrition places great emphasis on exercise and mindful eating, which both have multiple health benefits. The fact that it’s centered around foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is the reason why it is such an efficient diet.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the use of the Mediterranean diet as a healthy eating pattern helps us prevent cardiovascular diseases, increase lifespan, and age healthily.
The Mediterranean Nutrition is not a diet like all the others, but a lifestyle shift of your eating habits! Want to include some Mediterranean touches in your everyday meals? Here is how!
- Eat Your Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of healthy nutrients like fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A. That’s why it is extremely important to consume 7 to 10 servings every day. A fresh Greek Salad, for example, is the perfect way to increase your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
- Switch To Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the principal source of fat in the Mediterranean Nutrition. It is highly recommended by the majority of nutritionists, because it contains polyphenolic compounds that offer myriad benefits to human health, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, and antihypertensive effects. Consider cooking your meals with extra virgin olive oil instead of other vegetable oils, or try some new salad dressings using extra virgin olive oil as base.
- Include More Fish In Your Diet
People who follow the Mediterranean diet tend to prefer fish over all the other animal proteins, as they are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein. That is why nutritionists suggest eating it at least twice a week!
Pro Tip: Spice up the flavor of your fish with a traditional Greek mixture of extra virgin olive oil and lemon. In Greece we call it “ladolemono” and its recipe is quite easy; Mix together 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp. oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper, pour it on top of your grilled fish and enjoy!
- Go For Whole Grains
When you start eating like a true Mediterranean, one of the things you need to consider is switching to whole grain products. Experiment with whole grain foods, such as brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, barley and farro, which are high in B vitamins and fiber.
- Use Healthy Fats
Limit your daily intake of saturated fats, such as butter, margarine and coconut oil and try some extra virgin olive oil as a replacement, when cooking.
- Raise A Glass Of Wine
A glass or two of wine per day is proven to be not only beneficial for your heart, but also extremely helpful for stress reduction. Specifically, red wine seems to be the optimal choice, according to many scientific studies.
There are numerous ways to incorporate some delicious Mediterranean foods into your daily menu. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Sliced whole grain bread topped with feta cheese and slices of fresh vegetables such as tomato, olives and fresh parsley drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil on top.
- Greek yogurt topped with honey, nuts and fresh fruits.
- A vegetable omelet made with mushrooms, peppers and cheese cooked in extra virgin olive oil with some crusty barley rusks.
- Greek salad made with chopped tomatoes, olives, cucumber, onions, peppers and feta cheese, dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
- Homemade whole grain spaghetti with fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts and fresh herbs.
- Baked Fish with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon.
- Mediterranean Tuna Salad with chickpeas, tuna, fresh vegetables and an olive oil based dressing.
- Greek Couscous Salad made with whole wheat couscous, corn, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, ripe olives, onions and extra virgin olive oil.
- Traditional Spanakopita.
- Apple slices with almond butter.
- 1 ounce dark chocolate
- Hummus with carrots sticks
Following the Mediterranean Nutrition model is undoubtedly a great way to stay healthy and fit. Start small on your wellness journey, by getting your own Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil from a small island in Lesvos, Greece. Adopt an ancient olive tree and enjoy its precious olive oil delivered directly at your doorstep!