Your European getaway may not have been able to go head this year, but you can still follow the fresh and wholesome Mediterranean diet to feel your best and improve your health. The Mediterranean diet promotes wellbeing and can direct you on the path to a longer, healthier, and happier life.
If you’re feeling a bit flat or want to get in the routine of eating better, I have outlined a few ways the Mediterranean diet can improve your health below.
Nourishes your body with essential nutrients
The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based but also includes seafood and small amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to function optimally and stay healthy. Eating a variety of these whole foods will ensure that you are consuming nutrients and fibre to protect your body and increase longevity.
Foods to eat in abundance:
- Nuts & seeds
- Fish & seafood
- Whole wheat bread
- Herbs & spices
- Extra virgin olive oil
Foods to eat in moderation:
- Dairy products
Foods to avoid:
- Processed meat
- Added sugars
- Trans fats
- Refined oils
- Highly processed foods
- Refined grains
High in healthy fats
Olives, avocado, olive oil, and sunflower oil are all healthy sources of fat that are highly encouraged in the Mediterranean diet. These healthy fats are rich in antioxidants which mediate anti-inflammatory effects as well. Do it the Mediterranean way and dip your fresh bread in extra virgin olive oil to support your heart, joints, and brain health.
Can assist with weight loss
If you follow a Mediterranean diet, you’ll naturally be eating foods that are lower in calories. The healthy fats within this diet will also help to keep you feeling satiated and full, so you don’t feel the urge to overeat. As the Mediterranean diet contains a vast array of wholesome and delicious foods, it can help you stick to a healthy diet as you won’t feel restricted.
Supports heart health
Studies have shown the Mediterranean diet to be effective in helping your body maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. When your cholesterol levels are high, you have a greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Fill your diet with plant-based foods to support healthy cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy heart.
Promotes healthy digestionFruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are rich in fibre and make up the base of most Mediterranean meals. Fibre is crucial to maintain a healthy gut and to reduce your risk of certain health conditions. If your current diet contains a lot of processed foods and only limited fruits and vegetables, you probably aren’t consuming enough fibre.
Tips to boost fibre intake:
- Eat fruits and vegetables with their skin on
- Swap white bread for whole wheat bread
- Include beans, lentils, and chickpeas in your diet
- Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal
- Take a fibre supplement if you can’t meet your daily requirement
Mediterranean diet - sample day of eating:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins and fruit
Snack: Baby carrots and a handful of nuts
Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich, filled with fresh vegetables and cheese
Dinner: A tuna and vegetable salad, topped with olive oil + 1 glass red wine
Dessert: Greek yogurt with fruit
Try out the Mediterranean diet and get your health back in check!