April 23, 2024

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All about Mediterranean cuisine

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All about Mediterranean cuisine

Flavor, color and freshness, this is what makes Mediterranean cuisine a ray of sunshine on your plate. It is one of the most varied cuisines in terms of flavors thanks to the different herbs and spices used. The freshness in the dishes is also highlighted thanks to the combination of legumes and cereals.

We want you to discover this generous and delicious cuisine, so that you can include it in your diet. That’s why we share with you the health benefits of this cuisine , as well as the essential ingredients and, of course, some recipes to allow you to achieve a Mediterranean evening!

What is Mediterranean cuisine?

Mediterranean cuisine is defined by the food and preparation methods used by people living in the Mediterranean basin. That is, the diet of the inhabitants of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, from Spain to Morocco, passing through Italy, Greece, Tunisia and other countries.

The popularity of this type of cuisine increased with the publication, in 1950, of the book by food writer Elizabeth David.

The emphasis is on fresh products, strong flavors and simplicity of preparation. Essentially, Mediterranean cuisine is made up of plant-based foods and minimally processed staples, where herbs and spices are indispensable ingredients.

It is normal to find an abundance of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil and aromatic herbs. The consumption of dairy products, eggs and wine is moderate, as well as that of fish, and meat is consumed in small quantities.

main Features

The most frequently consumed foods are those of plant origin.
Animal products are consumed in moderation.
The variety of products is very important as well as the consumption of local products to preserve the freshness of the dishes.The truth is that adopting this diet will not only bring a touch of freshness, color and variety to your daily diet, but also several health benefits. Here are some of the main benefits.

Healthy fats for your body

Several studies have proven that this type of diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This is due to eating healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats . These fats have positive effects on cholesterol and are found in olive oil, nuts and avocados.

In Mediterranean cuisine, you will also find a beneficial amount of omega-3s. This healthy fat helps lower triglycerides , which helps control blood pressure .

You will find this fat mainly in fish (salmon for example), chia seeds, rapeseed oil and soy and its derivatives (tofu, soy milk).

A healthy digestive system

Due to the high consumption of fruits, vegetables and grains in Mediterranean cuisine, you will benefit from both soluble and insoluble fiber (feel free to see our fiber guide for more) in foods such as peas chickpeas, lentils, spinach , strawberries, tomatoes, etc.

Regular consumption of fiber will help your digestion by balancing your intestinal flora and prolonging the feeling of satiety , in addition to limiting the absorption of cereals, bad cholesterol and carbohydrates.

Great source of antioxidants

Once again, the high consumption of fruits and vegetables in Mediterranean cuisine is an important source of antioxidants for your body .

Foods such as oranges, red fruits, red wine, flax and sunflower seeds, as well as legumes such as chickpeas and lentils are part of this cuisine and will be your antioxidant allies.

Among the most important benefits of eating a diet rich in antioxidants through Mediterranean cuisine are boosting the immune system and reducing the signs of aging .

Protection against type 2 diabetes

Studies have shown that with the low carbohydrate intake in this diet, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 30%.

Most of the foods consumed in this type of diet have a low to moderate glucose index, ie fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts.

All of these foods keep your blood sugar levels stable and limit episodes of hyperglycemia, which lowers the risk of diabetes.

A healthy brain

Thanks to all the nutrients and vitamins present in this diet, studies have also shown that people following a Mediterranean diet have a 33% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease .

In addition, this type of cuisine reduces the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.

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