Based on historical eating patterns from rural areas of Greece, Spain and Southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet has won popularity due to scientific studies that have shown it to be very effective at preventing and sometimes helping with reversing issues such as Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Cardiovascular diseases, Cancers and much more.
The focus is placed on foods such as legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, nuts, vegetables and olive oil. It also includes fish and small amounts of dairy like yogurt and cheese. Small amounts of wine are also allowed.
In November of 2010 the UNESCO organization recognized the diet as an intangible cultural heritage and included Morocco, more of Italy, and adding Cyprus and Croatia.
The British Medical Journal provided more support in 2008 when they declared the diet could also assist in the prevention and treatment of Parkinson's disease as well as Alzheimer's.
The report showed conclusively that close to ten percent of all those studied had reduced cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality rates. The report also showed there was substantial protection available against Type II Diabetes.
Those observed for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's saw a reduction that exceeded 13%. This was for those who were adhering to the diet with strict guidelines and only very small - if any - variances.
The Mediterranean Diet in a nutshell
Most people making use of this diet do so with the understanding that the Mediterranean Diet is based around classic foods from the Mediterranean region of Italy, Greece and Spain.
They understand that it has the potential to lower cholesterol, as well as reduce joint and muscle pain. All this while also improving heart health, brain function and weight control.
This diet is organized around foods that are high in fiber and low in fat. The food choices are those found to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also recommended that all eggs chosen are organic or free-range with omega-3 fatty acids for greater, more beneficial results.
Here are some tasty breakfast options that offer some variety for the Mediterranean Diet.
A Salmon and Asparagus Omelette
- 4 oz salmon
- ½ tsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp onion, diced
- 2 asparagus spears, steamed
- ¼ tsp lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp low fat milk
- ½ tbsp parsley
- Salt, pepper, dill and chives to taste
Add oil to a nonstick skillet. Warm this over a medium heat. Add onions and sauté them two to three minutes - until translucent. Add the asparagus, garlic and lemon juice. Sauté these also for two minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat together the milk, eggs and parsley. Season this with salt, pepper, dill and chives - to taste. Add eggs to the vegetable mixture and let this set for about 1½ minutes.
Put the salmon into the skillet while reducing the heat to low. Allow eggs to cook for two to three minutes. Fold this omelet in half - cook it for an additional minute.
Fruit and Nuts with Toast and Cheese
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- ¾ oz low calorie cheese, such as Laughing Cow
- ½ pear, cored, peeled and sliced
- ½ tsp walnuts, chopped
This delicious breakfast combines most of the fundamentals of the Mediterranean Diet: whole grains, healthy fats in the nuts and fresh fruits. Simply toast the bread and then spread with cheese and top with the pear and nuts.
Nuts and Fruit in Granola
- ½ cup low fat granola
- ½ cup low fat or fat free milk
- ¼ banana, sliced and peeled
- ¼ medium apple, cored, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp walnuts, chopped
In a bowl, mix the granola with the milk. Top with apple, walnuts and banana.
For more ideas we offer you these articles with dinner and lunch Mediterranean Diet recipes:
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