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The Mediterranean region has foods with incredible health benefits. The people in the region are known around the world for having healthy hearts, low body fat, and long lifespans. These incredible foods have been clearly and scientifically linked to prove that this is the key to their longevity. Indeed, a Mediterranean diet is even recommended by the specialists at the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, Mediterranean people are less frequently afflicted with heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and colon cancer. The effect of this type of diet on the human body is simply incredible.

From the western part of the Mediterranean and the countries of Spain and Morocco to the eastern shores where the sea meets Syria and Israel, the region embraces a rich food culture. While each nation has its own distinct flavor, they all agree that fresh food is best! From fresh-pressed olive oil to sea urchin pulled from the sea and eaten immediately, the area boasts some of the most distinct flavors in the world.

The 7 most common Mediterranean foods and their health benefits are just too great to ignore. Curious to learn about these foods? Here you are.

1-THE WORLD’S FRESHEST & MOST VARIED SEAFOOD

The Mediterranean region houses perhaps the most abundant and varied species of seafood in the world! The skilled cooks of the area take advantage of this bounty and select their fish on a daily basis.

This is a stark contrast with most of the western world. We are told to eat fish 2 servings per week. On the other hand, our Mediterranean friends eat fish 7 servings a week and other meats only twice.

The benefits of eating seafood and fish are clear.

Fish is extremely low in fat and calories. Even the most succulent of shellfish delivers big flavor with only a tiny bit of fat and calories. Naturally, this delivers health benefits like improved circulation and lower cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It also ensures a trim figure that helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

In addition, Harvard University has just published findings linking the consumption of fish to
reducing inflammation related to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Another wonderful benefit!

However, did you know that eating more fish can help to lower the chance of colon cancer? It’s easier for our bodies to digest. Therefore, it doesn’t cause inflammation of the bowels.

That makes fish sound like a winner of a dinner!

2-EXOTIC HERBS AND SPICES
The Mediterranean Region is also known for chefs who know how to skillfully season their foods with exotic herbs and spices. In fact, the Moroccans claim that they were the innovators of the modern spice trade. Saffron, anyone?

Spices credited in Mediterranean cuisine are rosemary, saffron, thyme, sweet basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and coriander.

These herbs are important in several ways.

First, the Mediterranean cook frequently replaces salt with herb blends that deliver flavor that negates the need to add salt. As we all know, less salt can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Even the American Heart Association recommends putting down the salt shaker and using herbs as a replacement.

Second, the exotic spices and herb keep the diet varied. A simple piece of whitefish can take on new flavor profiles just by changing the seasoning.

Finally, many herbs have medicinal properties. The Mediterranean is more likely than the rest of the world to try an herb tea to heal a headache than other cultures who may be quick to pop some aspirin. Interested in herbs? Take a look at this herb chart to learn more.

3-OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL:

Without a doubt, you’ve heard that olive oil is healthier than animal fats for cooking. It contains the healthy fat Omega-3 which nourishes your heart and organs.

Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean region. They stand in groves where the olives thrive under the warm sun. At harvest, the olives are gathered and pressed.

In fact, olive oil is used for more than just frying fish! In the Mediterranean it all but replaces other cooking oils and butter. Also, they use it to replace butter for dipping locally baked breads. It replaces heavy commercially-prepared salad dressings that make it a lighter and healthier option.

Olive oil contains anti-oxidants that also help prevent Alzheimer’s, depression, and strokes.

What you may not know is this. The women of the Mediterranean have been admired for centuries for their beautiful skin which looks kissed by the sun and their luxuriously thick hair. Their beauty secret? Olive oil. These savvy ladies know that olive oil can keep their skin hydrated, cure and prevent damage, and tame frizz without chemicals.

4-TREE NUTS

When we prepare for a long day, we pack a bag of potato chips in our tote bag to munch on. Worse yet, we pull up to the local burger joint for french fries. On the other hand, a Mediterranean resident will pack a small bag of tree nuts.

Like the olive tree, nut trees flourish in this zone. They grow copious amounts of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios in the area. These are the go-to quick snack. They are satisfying, high in protein, and easy to pack!

Nuts are low in cholesterol and high in healthy fats. They are high in fiber and help to control weight gain. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Their healing properties are well-documented.

The Mediterranean diet features nuts cooked as well as raw. It’s a common practice to toast almonds or hazelnuts and sprinkle them over fish or salad to add extra health benefits to the diet.

5-FRESH VEGETABLES ARE KING

It’s rare that you will find a canned vegetable in the Mediterranean household. The warm climate means that vegetables are cultivated almost year round in one form or another in the region.

Because they are high in anti-oxidants and fiber, a diet full of fresh vegetables aids in the prevention of cancer. Also, fresh vegetables deliver vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall good health and a long life.

On the other hand, vegetables which are canned become depleted of these vital nutrients during the canning process. Stick with fresh vegetables whenever you have the choice.

CONCLUSION:

If you are thinking of changing to a Mediterranean diet, you are making a wise decision. Certainly, you will be eating food that tastes better. More importantly, you will dine on foods that nourish all parts of your body. Preventing disease and illness will be inherent in your great food choices.

AUTHOR BIO: Nicole Vidmar is the Editor of My Kitchen Adviser. She is a wife and mother and endorses a healthy and fit lifestyle.

https://www.facebook.com/mykitchenadvisor

Twitter @MyKitchenAd

 

 

 

The Mediterranean region has foods with incredible health benefits. The people in the region are known around the world for having healthy hearts, low body fat, and long lifespans. These incredible foods have been clearly and scientifically linked to prove that this is the key to their longevity. Indeed, a Mediterranean diet is even recommended by the specialists at the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, Mediterranean people are less frequently afflicted with heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and colon cancer. The effect of this type of diet on the human body is simply incredible.

From the western part of the Mediterranean and the countries of Spain and Morocco to the eastern shores where the sea meets Syria and Israel, the region embraces a rich food culture. While each nation has its own distinct flavor, they all agree that fresh food is best! From fresh-pressed olive oil to sea urchin pulled from the sea and eaten immediately, the area boasts some of the most distinct flavors in the world.

The 7 most common Mediterranean foods and their health benefits are just too great to ignore. Curious to learn about these foods? Here you are.

1-THE WORLD’S FRESHEST & MOST VARIED SEAFOOD

The Mediterranean region houses perhaps the most abundant and varied species of seafood in the world! The skilled cooks of the area take advantage of this bounty and select their fish on a daily basis.

This is a stark contrast with most of the western world. We are told to eat fish 2 servings per week. On the other hand, our Mediterranean friends eat fish 7 servings a week and other meats only twice.

The benefits of eating seafood and fish are clear.

Fish is extremely low in fat and calories. Even the most succulent of shellfish delivers big flavor with only a tiny bit of fat and calories. Naturally, this delivers health benefits like improved circulation and lower cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It also ensures a trim figure that helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

In addition, Harvard University has just published findings linking the consumption of fish to
reducing inflammation related to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Another wonderful benefit!

However, did you know that eating more fish can help to lower the chance of colon cancer? It’s easier for our bodies to digest. Therefore, it doesn’t cause inflammation of the bowels.

That makes fish sound like a winner of a dinner!

2-EXOTIC HERBS AND SPICES
The Mediterranean Region is also known for chefs who know how to skillfully season their foods with exotic herbs and spices. In fact, the Moroccans claim that they were the innovators of the modern spice trade. Saffron, anyone?

Spices credited in Mediterranean cuisine are rosemary, saffron, thyme, sweet basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and coriander.

These herbs are important in several ways.

First, the Mediterranean cook frequently replaces salt with herb blends that deliver flavor that negates the need to add salt. As we all know, less salt can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Even the American Heart Association recommends putting down the salt shaker and using herbs as a replacement.

Second, the exotic spices and herb keep the diet varied. A simple piece of whitefish can take on new flavor profiles just by changing the seasoning.

Finally, many herbs have medicinal properties. The Mediterranean is more likely than the rest of the world to try an herb tea to heal a headache than other cultures who may be quick to pop some aspirin. Interested in herbs? Take a look at this herb chart to learn more.

3-OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL:

Without a doubt, you’ve heard that olive oil is healthier than animal fats for cooking. It contains the healthy fat Omega-3 which nourishes your heart and organs.

Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean region. They stand in groves where the olives thrive under the warm sun. At harvest, the olives are gathered and pressed.

In fact, olive oil is used for more than just frying fish! In the Mediterranean it all but replaces other cooking oils and butter. Also, they use it to replace butter for dipping locally baked breads. It replaces heavy commercially-prepared salad dressings that make it a lighter and healthier option.

Olive oil contains anti-oxidants that also help prevent Alzheimer’s, depression, and strokes.

What you may not know is this. The women of the Mediterranean have been admired for centuries for their beautiful skin which looks kissed by the sun and their luxuriously thick hair. Their beauty secret? Olive oil. These savvy ladies know that olive oil can keep their skin hydrated, cure and prevent damage, and tame frizz without chemicals.

4-TREE NUTS

When we prepare for a long day, we pack a bag of potato chips in our tote bag to munch on. Worse yet, we pull up to the local burger joint for french fries. On the other hand, a Mediterranean resident will pack a small bag of tree nuts.

Like the olive tree, nut trees flourish in this zone. They grow copious amounts of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios in the area. These are the go-to quick snack. They are satisfying, high in protein, and easy to pack!

Nuts are low in cholesterol and high in healthy fats. They are high in fiber and help to control weight gain. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Their healing properties are well-documented.

The Mediterranean diet features nuts cooked as well as raw. It’s a common practice to toast almonds or hazelnuts and sprinkle them over fish or salad to add extra health benefits to the diet.

5-FRESH VEGETABLES ARE KING

It’s rare that you will find a canned vegetable in the Mediterranean household. The warm climate means that vegetables are cultivated almost year round in one form or another in the region.

Because they are high in anti-oxidants and fiber, a diet full of fresh vegetables aids in the prevention of cancer. Also, fresh vegetables deliver vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall good health and a long life.

On the other hand, vegetables which are canned become depleted of these vital nutrients during the canning process. Stick with fresh vegetables whenever you have the choice.

CONCLUSION:

If you are thinking of changing to a Mediterranean diet, you are making a wise decision. Certainly, you will be eating food that tastes better. More importantly, you will dine on foods that nourish all parts of your body. Preventing disease and illness will be inherent in your great food choices.

AUTHOR BIO: Nicole Vidmar is the Editor of My Kitchen Adviser. She is a wife and mother and endorses a healthy and fit lifestyle.

https://www.facebook.com/mykitchenadvisor

Twitter @MyKitchenAd