A healthy Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan which is particularly based on recipes and foods of Mediterranean style cooking. If you are looking for a healthy eating plan which is good for the heart then the Mediterranean diet might be the right choice for you.
The Mediterranean diet includes the main elements of healthy eating, a splash of olive oil and a glass of red wine.
Most of the healthy diet plans include veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish and healthy fats. These elements of a healthy diet plan are tried and true in every sense, some variations in the proportion of some foods may make a difference in determining your risk of heart disease.
Benefits of eating a Mediterranean Meal are:
- Traditional Mediterranean diet helps in reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Helps in lower the bad cholesterol level in our body.
- Mediterranean diet helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular mortality and overall mortality.
- Mediterranean diet also associated with a reduced incidence of cancer.
Main components of a Mediterranean Meal are:
- Instead of using salt to spice up the food, herbs and spices are used.
- Olive oil and coconut oil takes place of butter.
- Limiting the intake of red meat.
- Eating poultry and fish at least twice a week.
- Enjoy at least one meal with family and friends.
- Drinking of red wine with a meal in moderate amount.
- Doing plenty of exercises.
- Eating plant-based foods such as veggies and fruits, whole grains items.
The Mediterranean diet is a very delicious and healthy way to eat our food. Many people who have switched to this style of eating never returned back to their old style of eating.
Broccoli with olive and garlic: This dish is famous in Italian recipes to appreciate dark and leafy veggies mainly this earthly bitter brassica which pairs beautifully with top ingredients like anchovy, hot pepper and sausage.
Like another cabbage family, broccoli is the superstar in nutrition which provides plenty of potassium, Vitamin C, fiber and calcium and also carotenoids and cancer-fighting elements.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are loaded fully with high-quality protein, iron, zinc, and folate. Its benefits get doubled when combined with starches and grains.
Chickpeas combined with whole grains and starches offers various benefits like provide you good carbs, fiber, minerals, and protein.
Not only this, like other legumes, such as peas, lentils, and beans, chickpeas are very high in protein and fiber and also contains several minerals and vitamins which are very essential for our body to work and stay healthy.
Wine: The effects of alcohol on our health are being debated over years and some of the best doctors are reluctant to encourage alcohol consumptions because it is of addictive nature and health consequences of that are not good.
However, alcohol in moderation amount is very good to reduce the risk of heart problems which some studies also says.
The Mediterranean diet generally includes a very moderate amount of wine (not whiskey, rum).
The moderate amount here refers to not more than 150 ml of wine daily for women and not more than 300 ml of wine daily for men.
If you have a history of alcohol abuse and now you have stopped that, then do not include alcohol in your Mediterranean diet.
Eggplant: This known for its neutral flavor and texture which takes up sauces beautifully. It gives a meaty satisfaction to meat lovers without adding any meat flavors or meat itself.
Eggplant is a vegetable having a unique variety of health benefits such as the ability to help in building strong bones and also prevent osteoporosis. Some other benefits of eggplant are:
- Helps in reducing the symptoms of anemia
- Aids in weight loss
- Improve the cardiovascular health and protection of the digestive system
- Managing diabetes, reducing stress
- Protects the newborn babies from birth defects
- Prevents even cancer.
Olive oil: Olive oil is a background element of the Mediterranean diet as it is of use in preparing vegetables. Olive oil is good as it is rich in monounsaturated fat and rich in antioxidant polyphenols.
Also, it is useful in some other problems as it contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive oil is healthy and also aids in weight loss. As it contains healthy fats and also omega 3 and 6 in it which do helps in weight loss.
A large amount of antioxidants in it helps in getting a glowing skin and also helps in weight loss.
Bell Peppers: Yellow and red bell papers are generally sweeter in taste than their green counterpart, but all the three bell peppers serve a lot of carotenoids and vitamins which also plays an important role in reducing the risk of any kind of heart problems.
This bell pepper family contains a big amount of vitamin C in it which is in concentrated form especially in the red one. Bell peppers contain phytochemicals which fill with anti-inflammatory and antioxidants benefits.
The green bell pepper also is known as capsaicin has multiple health benefits and also very good in taste.
Tomatoes: It is hard to believe that tomatoes are in the family of Mediterranean foods but they are staples in every cook’s larder, canned, fresh and in paste form. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and vitamin C.
Lycopene is a heart-protective antioxidant which also helps in preventing some sorts of cancer (Generally prostate cancer). Also, they are versatile enough to take good taste every day.
Also, tomatoes are a very rich source of dietary fibers which has many health benefits attached to it including reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes are also a great source of potassium, folate, vitamin K and vitamin C.
Shrimp: If you are living close to sea then seafood is a good source of protein in your diet. In the Mediterranean diet all kinds of fish and shellfish are celebrated, often several in the same dish.
In this diet, fattier types like tuna fish provide healthy omega 3 benefits, lean specimens like squid, shrimp, and sea bass provides the required amount of niacin, selenium, and protein.
Shrimps provide the main nutrients. Along with protein shrimp also provides a good amount of nutrients. 4 ounces steamed contains over 100 percent of the daily requirement of selenium, over 50 percent of Phosphorus and over 70 percent of Vitamin B12.
Hazelnuts: Nut trees are similar to olive trees in Italy. Nuts are used as snacks, sprinkled on salads and ground into the sauce. Nuts are loaded with hearth friendly monounsaturated fat.
The Nuts are also rich in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and Protein. The nuts protein contains a high amount of arginine, an amino acid which generally helps in maintaining a healthy blood vessel.