Top 10 Foods To Eat On A Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is increasingly recognized as one of the healthiest diets in the world due to the numerous health benefits that are associated with this diet. It comprises some foods high in nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats rich in nutrients. 

You should be aware of certain foods you should consume if you wish to adopt a Mediterranean diet so that you can adhere to it effectively. The following are the top foods that you should include in your Mediterranean diet to maximize your health.

Best foods to eat on a Mediterranean diet

1. Salmon

It’s a great source of omega-3 and vitamin B-6. Those who have T2DM or pre-diabetes should take omega 3’s because they decrease insulin resistance, so their blood sugar is lower, and they can take up more glucose. 

A buildup of triglycerides can eventually harden the arteries and cause heart disease, so omega 3’s help reduces that. As an essential nutrient, vitamin B-6 can’t be synthesized by our bodies, so we have to get it from food. In addition to creating red blood cells, it metabolizes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 

Anaemia can happen if you don’t get enough vitamin B-6. Adding salmon to sheet pan meals or salads is a great idea. Buy wild salmon if you can since farmed salmon has higher levels of persistent organic pollutants, contaminants, and antibiotics.

2. Berries

Berries are an ideal fruit for a Mediterranean diet because of their high fibre and antioxidant content. The most fibre-rich berries are raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. They’re also loaded with vitamin C, manganese, and K1. What’s the deal with fibre? You need fiber for a healthy gut. 

Your large intestine is filled with bacteria that feed on fibre. If you don’t consume enough of it, it will eat away at the mucus layer, causing infection or inflammation. According to one study, Mediterranean diets increase fibre-degrading faecal bacterium prausnitzii (bacteria) and genes for carbohydrate degradation. 

Thus, the Mediterranean diet positively changed gut microbiome composition thanks to increased fibre intake. As well as relieving constipation, fibre keeps your bowels moving smoothly. For breakfast, add berries to yogurt and oatmeal for a snack.

3. Greek yogurt

The protein content of Greek yogurt is higher than any other yogurt. Straining removes lactose-containing whey from Greek yogurt, so it’s tarter and has less sugar. You’ll get a lot of vitamin B-12, calcium, and probiotics from Greek yogurt. 

Your gut microbiome is restored and enhanced with probiotics. Don’t buy low-fat, Greek-style, or flavored yogurt. Your best bet is to stick with plain, unsweetened since it won’t have added sugars or thickeners. Add your berries to sweeten it up!

4. Extra virgin olive oil

Due to its mono and polyunsaturated fats, olive oil can protect against heart disease by preventing LDL particles from oxidizing and becoming reactive free radicals. A crucial part of the Mediterranean diet is the consumption of olive oil, which is regarded as a heart-healthy fat thanks to its monounsaturated fat content. 

Aside from being rich in antioxidants, it is also anti-inflammatory, making it great for maintaining your skin, hair, and overall health due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Nuts

Eat nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios when you can. There are a lot of antioxidants and trace minerals which may help you lose weight. An analysis of the PREDIMED diet found that participants on the Mediterranean diet with nuts and olive oil saw significant weight reductions from baseline, lower LDL, and higher HDL levels. 

A high HDL level helps convert cholesterol into bile acids by effluxing it out of cells. Look for raw, unsalted, or low-salt options. It’s better to eat nuts alone than candied, salted, or in trail mix. Make sure you check your serving size, too. A little goes a long way with nuts, even though they’re high in fat. 

6. Whole grains like quinoa

Gluten-free quinoa is a whole grain. Besides being a complete protein, it’s also a fibre source. Adding water to quinoa makes it fluffy. Use it in salads to stay fuller or substitute it for other grains. Since refined grains are stripped of fibre and nutrients by processing, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains. 

Sugar spikes when you eat refined grains because they’re high in carbohydrates. You can also eat whole wheat bread, oatmeal, farro, bulgur, and buckwheat.

7. Leafy greens

There is 604% of vitamin K and 188% vitamin A in spinach. The vitamin K in kale helps with blood clotting, while vitamin A boosts vision and vitamin C. Mediterranean diets often include arugula, which is slightly nutty and peppery. It’s a great way to sneak more greens and nutrients into your diet, and you won’t even know you’re doing it. 

8. Beans like chickpeas

The chickpea is a legume abundant in protein derived from plants. What’s that? Do chickpeas have all the essential amino acids except one? Blend them with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and salt to make homemade hummus! They’re great for soups and salads, too!

9. Eggplant

Anthocyanin is the pigment in eggplants that gives them their purple colour and is responsible for giving them their colour. The anthocyanins in blueberries act as antioxidants, fight free radicals, may help prevent inflammation, and reduce blood pressure. They’re non-starchy and packed with fibre! 

Mediterranean diet dishes like roasted eggplant and stuffed peppers include non-starchy vegetables like zucchini and bell peppers.

10. Red wine

Moderation is key in red wine, especially if you’re on a Mediterranean diet. This is because red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which can increase the expression of SIRT1. An enzyme called SIRT1 is responsible for mediating adaptations to weight loss. Calorie restriction is associated with increased longevity, so an increase in SIRT1 expression will lead to a longer lifespan.

Conclusion 

The Mediterranean diet contains healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and whole grains. Many chronic diseases can be reduced by eating foods on this diet, which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eat these foods to reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and enjoy a balanced and delicious diet.

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