The Mediterranean diet has a very good reputation and for a good reason. During the last years, it has a greater boom due to its content in healthy fats, by fatty fish that provides a lot of benefits for greater cardiovascular health, hair shine or prettier skin. Our bodies need healthy fats and in today’s society where convenience is more important than health, many people have deficiencies of this type of fat.
There is also a solid scientific base that supports its health benefits. It is verified that diet control bad cholesterol and can radically decrease the risk of heart disease. In addition, there is proof that it could protect brain function as we age.
Here is a list of the Mediterranean Diet foods:
1. Wheat: Cereal (which means growing) is the basic pillar of Mediterranean food. And if you have to choose one, wheat is undoubtedly the king. Today you can have some bad press for gluten, but if there is no intolerance to this substance it is very healthy food. It is a great source of carbohydrates, a basic nutrient that gives you energy and that you should not do without. The most common is to take it in the form of bread, flour, pasta, batters, although you can also eat the bran and the germ.
2. Olive oil: It helps to prevent breast cancer or improve the lipid profile (reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol). To protect its medicinal properties it is important that the oil is extra virgin. If it is superior it loses its protective virtues. Use it for both cooking and dressing, but keep in mind that it is caloric: only one tablespoon (10 ml) contains 90 kcal.
3. Pepper: It is an ingredient forced in sofrito to prepare dishes such as paella, or the protagonist of recipes such as the scalded (pepper, eggplant and onion the oven). 100 g of red pepper provides 190 mg of vitamin C, triple that of oranges. It also concentrates large doses of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that prevents eye diseases.
4. Lettuce: It should be consumed daily as it has a long list of nutrients: vitamin A, group B, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium … And all for only 18 kcal per 100 g of food. It is very rich in fiber, so it can cause flatulence. Chew it well.
5. Carrot: Wild carrots have grown naturally in the Mediterranean region forever, which is why it is another of the star vegetables of the Mediterranean Diet. It is the richest vegetable in beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A, essential for healthy eyes, skin and mucous membranes. In addition, it is a great natural digestive that calms stomach ache and fights diarrhea.
6. White Meat: Traditionally, Mediterranean peoples have consumed more fish than meat. Y the most consumed meat was poultry (white meat). The intake of red meat increased with the invasions of the Germanic peoples, large consumers of this type of meat, but it is not so typical of the Mediterranean. White meat contains a lot less saturated fat and cholesterol than red. Chicken, turkey and rabbit are also good options. Always choose lean parts of meat.
7. Figs and grapes: Fig trees and vines, like olive trees, are a large part of the essence of the Mediterranean. In fact, the wine, product of the grape, has been consumed in this area since time immemorial. The grape is a great source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that fights the harmful action of free radicals and protects your cells. And the figs, juicy and tender, are the fruit that provides the most calcium: 35 mg per 100 g of food if they are fresh, and 162 mg if they are dry.
8. Yogurt: Yogurt digested more easily than milk, contains less fat and, best of all, and provides good bacteria that balance the intestinal microbiota. And an equilibrium microbiota is essential for good general health since it intervenes in many processes of the organism.
9. Eggs: There is some controversy over whether they should be consumed in moderation or not necessary, but there is no doubt that they are an interesting vitamin, lipid and protein intake.
10. Legumes: legumes have a perfect combination of vegetable fats, hydrates and proteins - containing essential amino acids. In addition to fiber, this makes them perhaps the best of the Mediterranean ingredients. In addition, they are a great source of carbohydrates for slow absorption and fibber.
How Does the Mediterranean Diet Work?
The Mediterranean diet is based on the consumption of fresh and natural foods such as olive oil, fruits, vegetable, etc. It is necessary to avoid industrialized products such as sausages, frozen and prefabricated food. This diet is really a type of diet that helps to change the lifestyle, and it is not always necessary to be low in calories to help lose weight. Since it naturally helps to improve metabolism and promote weight control.