The Mediterranean Diet is known to decrease the occurrences of cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis; hypertension; Type II diabetes and glucose intolerance: and obesity. But one of its other benefits is that the Mediterranean Diet is so loaded with antioxidants that it is highly effective at fighting the aging process.
The Mediterranean Diet, while it does allow limited amounts of meat, primarily consists of fresh fruits and veggies; beans and nuts; whole grains and legumes; fresh herbs and spices; and seafood. One of its most important ingredients is olive oil.
What brings these health benefits?
These omegas3 fatty acids from fish, nuts and certain vegetables help protect against cardiovascular diseases. They lower the bad (ldl) cholesterol level and increase blood flow.
The antioxidants decrease the production of free radicals. Free radicals are substances that the body uses to kill germs or cancer cells. Nevertheless excess free radicals generates cardiovascular disease or cancer or even premature aging. If our food is not well balanced, our body produces generally too much free radicals There are antioxidants in large amounts in red wine (the Mediterraneans regularly consume red wine : a little glass at noon and at the dinner), the goat and sheep cheese, as well as in fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements contribute to our good health. An optimal amount of these substances allows the proper functioning of our whole body. The enzymes that activate all the reactions in our body needs these substances to function properly. They are found in high quantities in fruits and vegetables, cereals, brown rice, oilseeds (walnut, hazelnut, almond, etc)
Fibers helps decrease appetite and stabilize the sugar the glycaemia, which is important to prevent or reduce diabetes.. They reduce levels of ldl cholesterol and improve bowel function.
Mediterranean recipes are usually tasty, exotic and scrumptious in flavor. Here’s one of my favourites..this is a guilt-free spread you can snack anytime. It is called Baba Ghanoush
2 to 3 medium eggplants
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup tahini (ground sesame seeds)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rub the outside of the eggplants with olive oil and place them in a roasting plan. Roast the eggplant until the skin has charred and the interior is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
2. Peel and seed the cooled eggplant, roughly chop the flesh, and then transfer it to the bowl of a food processor.
3. Into the processor bowl add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, some salt and pepper to taste, and a few teaspoons of cold water. Process the mixture to a coarse paste, adding a bit more water as needed to allow the mixture to blend.
4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
You can add a handful of freshly chopped parseley and mint to add punch!
By eating freshly prepared Baba Ghanoush with fresh fish, you’ll be getting a nutrient-packed meal rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and your body will love you for it!