Mediterranean people usually boast with strong health. This is because the typical composition of their diet is healthy and helps weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is based on foods typical for the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. If you want to enjoy good health, great mood and longevity like the Mediterranean people, then shift into your diet some changes.
You do not have to worry about the fact that the Mediterranean diet is something drastic, on the contrary, it is rather a pleasant lifestyle and you will surely love food typical for these countries. It is a light, tasty, healthy and balanced diet.
The Mediterranean diet - the Ten Commandments of successful start
- Replace current fats and oils with olive oil.
- Engage into your diet more nuts.
- Consume each day fruits and vegetables.
- Limit your intake of these foods: fatty meats - beef, pork, eggs.
- Eat more fish and lean poultry.
- Engage more wholemeal bread and pasta.
- Drink occasionally red wine with food.
- One dairy product a day will not hurt and will delight your taste.
- Add to the main dish salads or some legumes.
- For preparation of Mediterranean belong herbs, they give meals great taste without unnecessary salt.
These changes in their diet reduce the risk of heart disease, stabilize sugar in blood and the risk of diabetes and increased cholesterol levels.
Classical portion of meal contains half vegetables, a quarter carbohydrates and next quarter are proteins. Food that recommends the Mediterranean diet, usually contain large amounts of fibre. Together with the water, fibres increase volume of food in the stomach of man. Thus, a person need less food, it equals lower calorie intake, while the man reach the satisfying feeling of satiety.
In the long term the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest approaches to regimen. It brings good results in weight loss and body shaping, the proportion of animal fats in the diet is lower. Olive oil is easily transformed into usable energy for the body and has fewer tendencies to deposit as a subcutaneous fat. In the context of adherence to a Mediterranean diet you can renounce the sweets and replace them with fresh fruit instead.
Benefits of Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet consists of high-quality, easily digestible and healthy products and rich in vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids. The menu is varied, tasty and nutritious, so you will not needlessly starve. Mediterranean diet helps get rid of excess pounds, favourably affects cholesterol and it has many benefits for the entire cardiovascular system. Not only does it work as well as prevention of stroke and heart failure, but also as the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and it also reduces the risk of cancer.
Is possible, that the Mediterranean diet does not suit for me?
Yes, although the Mediterranean diet, according to experts, is the healthiest diet and is probably the best solution to crack down bad habits and establish a healthy lifestyle, yet there are several risks that you still fail to reduce overweight. Some people who treys to lose overweight have health complications and hidden causes of obesity which preclude the weight loss.
- Typical hidden cause of obesity is usually a disorder of the thyroid gland. These complaints can be precluded by adding adequate amount of iodine into diet. If the thyroid gland is not working properly, your doctor may prescribe a preparation with the content of thyroxin and thus offset the deficiency in blood.
- Another underlying cause of overweight is acidity of organism. This can have a lot of symptoms, e.g. insomnia, arthritis, migraines, etc. One of the most frequent manifestations is also excess water retention in the body. And, as it is well known, it is not good for slim line at all. To determine if you suffer from acidification of the organism, then you can buy at pharmacy litmus papers with colour scale. Put litmus paper into contact with saliva, or urine. According to the appropriate colour and colour scale you specify whether you have excess acidity of the organism or not. This test must be made min. 1.5 hours after a meal. If you want to be sure one hundred percent, you can simply ask your doctor to conduct such a test, for whom the determination of potential acidity of organism is simple matter.
- Excessive water retention or metabolic disorders can be caused by some hormonal substances. Typical problems may also be a lack of vitamins in the diet, inadequate intake of quality fats etc. In this case, balancing levels of fats and vitamins is a longer matter.
Basic ingredients of Mediterranean diet
It is the most basic raw material of all Mediterranean cuisine. The olive oils differ from each other often at first glance.
- Olive oil gives your dish unmistakable taste of Mediterranean cuisine. .
- Olive oil containsno cholesterol or salt.
- It contains large amounts of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that slows aging and vitamins A, D and K. Vitamins A and E prevents skin cancer and has a protective effect on the skin. It is a beneficial in high blood pressure and contains unsaturated fatty acids that have a positive effect on human organism.
- Reduces cholesterol, regulates blood pressure and prevent the development of heart disease.
- Olive oil also contains polyphenols, antioxidants that protect the body against cancer, strengthens the human immune system, promotes digestion and slows aging.
According to acidity olive oil is divided into three basic groups:
- Extra virgin olive oil (acidity may not exceed 1%)
- Fine-virgin olive oil to 1.5% acidity
- Refine olive oil up to 2% acidity
Virgin olive oil is used in salads and plain olive oil for cooking.
Taste tomatoes ripened in the sun, of course, differ from those from the greenhouse. We know many varieties of tomatoes. When you buy tomatoes choose one that is not too hard, are well coloured and smooth. We can dry good ripen summer tomatoes in the oven for the winter and fruits with less noticeable flavour can be used for preparing sauces.
Lycopene contained in ripe tomatoes, has protective effects against the occurrence of circulatory diseases. It is beneficial in prostate cancer, colon cancer and other types of tumours. Men frequently consuming tomatoes have half the risk of developing prostatic hyperplasia glands. In addition to the antioxidant effects of tomatoes it has also demonstrated protective effect against negative UV rays.
Garlic It is an important ingredient in dishes. His sharp flavour moderates while heated. We can recognize the best garlic easily, because it usually has a solid and compact header. It should be stored at room temperature and in a dark place. Storing garlic in the fridge is a mistake, because in there garlic germinates very soon. Do not use already sprouted garlic for cooking, food could become unpleasantly bitter.
Garlic is widely used in the kitchen and is rich in vitamins A, B, C, selenium, calcium and iodine. It has positive effects on the immune system and digestion. In natural healing it is often used as an antiseptic and antibiotic, it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it is good for the heart and purifies the blood vessels. Prevents against flatulence, against hardening of the arteries, destroys parasites in the intestines and in combination with honey is used for colds and flu.
Oblong, slightly plump eggplants with a dark purple smooth skin, are the essential raw material of many French and Italian dishes. Buy always eggplant with smooth skin and firm flesh. Eggplants perfectly complement with tomatoes. It is recommended to sprinkle eggplants with salt before frying or baking. It let water out and after that it can be processed. This way it will loose its bitterness.
Eggplant helps to prevent the formation of free radicals in the body and is a source of sodium and folic acid (vitamin B9). It is interesting that eggplant contains nicotine. The amount of nicotine in eggplant is negligible, so you do not have to worry about his eating.
Fish and other marine species belong to the Mediterranean diet completely inseparable. The freshness of the fish can be identified by bright shiny eyes, red gills and, of course, such a fish should not smell. Never buy slightly smelly fish!
Into all dishes and salads are added fresh herbs which we can dry for the winter. In our conditions, you can grow herbs in the garden or behind the windows in the crate. Of course, our herbs grown in the crate will not have such distinct taste and smell like plants originating from the Mediterranean. The most used herbs are basil, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
The Mediterranean diet recipes
Tagliatelle with shrimp and green beans
Ingredients for 4 people
- 225 g pasta, you can also substitute it with rice noodles
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 smaller onion
- 225 g of peeled raw shrimps
- 150 ml fish stock
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons of lime juice
- handful of green pods and a handful of bean sprouts
Tagliatelle with shrimp and green beans - preparation
Cook the pasta "al dente" in salted water to which add a drop of olive oil. Then drain everything. Heat in a saucepan two tablespoons of oil, add chopped onion and fry it. Add pasta and simmer everything together with broth for two minutes. Remove pasta from the fire and keep it warm. On the remaining oil fry shrimp with crushed garlic, add the soy sauce, sherry, lime juice, green beans and sprouts. All simmer until tender and then toss the mixture with pasta and serve.
Salmon skewers with vegetables and curry rice
Ingredients for 4 people
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 zucchini
- 2 red peppers
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- fresh dill for garnish
- lemon pepper
- 200g basmati rice
- lemon slices
Salmon skewers with vegetables and curry rice - preparation
Cut washed fresh salmon into about 5 cm pieces. Season it with salt and pepper and drizzle with a spoon of lemon juice. Cut zucchini with peppers also into smaller pieces. Then gradually spear on needles salmon, zucchini and peppers. Mix olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice, chopped dill and lemon pepper. Glaze the skewers with this mixture during cooking (or grilling). The finished skewers can be served with steamed rice, to which we add curry. Serve with lemon slices and sprigs of dill. Feel free to add to skewer other vegetables, it may be eggplant, onions or whole garlic cloves.
Mediterranean vegetables on a baking tray
- 1 eggplant
- 2 zucchini
- 2 onions
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1-2 peppers
- 1 garlic header
- 100 g feta cheese or similar type of cheese
- 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mediterranean vegetables on the baking tray - preparation
Cut into slices eggplant and other vegetables. Salt eggplant and leave it to sweat for about 30 minutes. Then rinse it and dry it. Smear higher plate gently with olive oil and pile vegetables on it so that it will partly overlap. Mix basil pesto with olive oil and fresh or dried herbs, possibly with pepper. Smear surface of vegetable with oil mixture. Crumble feta on top, cover everything with aluminium foil and put in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.