Benefits of the Mediterranean diet for health and the environment
Discover the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for your health. Learn about its key foods that should be included in your diet and improve your wellbeing!
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What is the Mediterranean diet and what benefits does it have?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cookery of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Notable within the Mediterranean diet are plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole cereals, nuts, spices and, above all, olive oil as the main source of fat.
The Mediterranean diet is notable for being one of the most balanced, complete and healthiest diets there are.
- It helps to regulate weight and to improve a sense of physical wellbeing, as the great variety of foods in Mediterranean cooking, if complemented with regular exercise, contribute to keeping you in good physical shape.
- It improves life expectancy: death from cancer is less among those who practice this diet, in comparison to those countries in which the population tend to eat more fast foods or pre-prepared foods.
- Prevents diabetes, as it is a diet rich in carbohydrates and the olive oil helps to keep glucose levels balanced within the body.
- Reduces bad cholesterol and increases the good one, due to the diet containing products such as oily fish, vegetables and nuts.
- The consumption of olive oil and omega 3 fats, which are found in foods like quinoa or nuts, among others, help to eliminate waste and toxins from your body.
- Improves the function of many organs, such as the heart and kidneys.
- Prevents the rapid ageing of cells, which contributes to reducing the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as the cognitive deterioration associated with ageing.
Examples of the Mediterranean diet: 2 easy recipe ideas
Ingredients (4 persons):
- 300 g spaghetti
- 250 g grated tomato
- 2 spoonfuls of stoned black olives
- 2 spoonfuls of grated cheese
- 1 garlic
- 3 spoonfuls of olive oil
- 1 small chilli
Preparation | 20 minutes
- Sauté the garlic and the chilli. Heat a spoonful of oil in a frying pan and sauté the chopped garlic and chilli without allowing the garlic to take on any colour. Then add the tomato and sauté for 5 minutes on a high heat. Stirring occasionally.
- Cut the olives. Cut them into fine rings or into small pieces, as desired. Add them to the frying pan and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the frying pan from the heat, season, add the 2 spoonfuls of remaining oil, mix well and put the sauce aside.
- Boil the pasta. Remember, it is important not to overcook it and it should be al dente. Don’t be afraid to keep trying it until it is just right.
- Mix the pasta with the sauce and heat it for 2 minutes while stirring.
- It’s time to plate up. Share the pasta out onto 4 deep plates and finish by sprinkling the grated cheese and the parsley over it.
Cauliflower salad with hummus
Ingredients (2 persons):
- 300g cauliflower
- 1 good handful of lamb’s lettuce
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 2 spoonfuls of hummus
- 1 spoonful of flax seeds
- 30 g peanuts
- Half a cup of water
Preparation | 30 minutes
- Crush the peanuts. Put them between two pieces of greaseproof paper and go over them with a rolling pin, then put them to one side.
- In a bowl, mix the hummus with the half cup of water and the flax seeds until they form a sauce, then put it to one side.
- Heat the oven to 220º C.
- Cut the cauliflower. Place the florets on an oven tray and mix the with the sauce that you had put aside. Put the cauliflower in the middle of the oven at 200º C with top and bottom heat until it is a golden colour.
- Remove the tomatoes from the fridge.
- Wash the lamb’s lettuce, remove the cauliflower from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- When it is warm, mix it with the lamb’s lettuce and the cherry tomatoes cut into quarters.
- Distribute the salad onto plates, sprinkle the previously crushed peanuts over the top, serve and enjoy this healthy Mediterranean recipe.