What is the Mediterranean diet?
It is a way of eating that is based on the traditional foods and dietary patterns of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. This vast region includes Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, Israel, North Africa, among other nations.
What are the main components of the Mediterranean Diet?
It is rather basic and generally based on fresh and unprocessed vegetables, legumes, beans such as chickpeas, olives, lentils, nuts, fruits, wholegrain breads and cereals (preferably organic), and Extra virgin olive oil, the "liquid gold" of the Mediterranean diet.
Garlic, herbs (dry or fresh), and spices such as thyme, oregano, coriander, cumin are also a part of a healthy Mediterranean diet as well as lean proteins and food high in healthy fats containing mono and polyunsaturated fat. Fatty fish and seafood are the perfect example and are recommended by many doctors and international health organizations.
Some of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are:
- Reduced risk of heart disease: according to numerous research, the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, due to its emphasis on heart-healthy foods such as olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and fish.
- Improved cognitive function: a Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve cognitive function and lower the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. One study found that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 35% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
- Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes: following a Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study found that people who followed this diet had a 23% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who followed a low-fat diet.
- Reduced inflammation: it is rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. This can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is linked to a range of chronic diseases.
Now, what are the latest trends on the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years, and for a good reason. It is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. Its emphasis is on plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts, and moderate consumption of fish and poultry.
Some of the latest trends on the Mediterranean diet...
Plant-based protein sources
While fish and poultry are still staples in the Mediterranean diet, there has been a shift towards incorporating more plant-based protein sources such as legumes, tofu, and tempeh. These foods are not only high in protein, but also provide important nutrients such as fibers, iron, and calcium.
Mediterranean style snacks
Snacking has become more popular in recent years in the occidental world, and the Mediterranean diet offers plenty of healthy snack options. Olives, olive spreads (tapenade), hummus, nuts, dried fruits, fresh and raw fruits and veggies, roasted chickpeas are just some examples of Mediterranean inspired snacks that are both tasty and nutritious.
Recent studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet may have a positive impact on gut health. This is likely due to the high intake of fiber rich foods such as vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, whole grains as well as the consumption of probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, kefir and pickles. All these foods are high in beneficial bacteria, which can improve gut health and boost your immune system.
Another trend that has emerged in recent years is the focus on mindful eating. This involves paying attention to hunger cues, eating slowly, being present in the moment while eating, and avoiding distractions. Mindful eating is not only a way to enjoy food more fully, but it can also help with better digestion, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Cooking at Home
With more people working from home and spending more time at home due to the recent pandemic, many have rediscovered the joy of cooking. Cooking at home allows people to control the ingredients and adding more love in the preparation of their meal! Cooking at home makes it easier to eat a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.
Sustainability - Local economy
Finally, sustainability, locally made, and ethical food production have become more and more important and widely recognized. Nowadays, many people are choosing to follow a Mediterranean-style diet because of its emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal, and minimally processed foods. By eating foods that are in season and grown locally, individuals can reduce their carbon footprint and support their local economy.
Overall, a Mediterranean diet is a healthy and sustainable way of eating that can provide a range of health benefits. If you're interested in trying a Mediterranean diet, just keep it simple, focus on incorporating whole, unprocessed, fresh plant-based foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins into your meals.
We’re proud to offer a large variety of fine, healthy, and tasty products which are an essential part of the Mediterranean.
Check our range of products and find heaps of foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet including naturally gluten-free and vegan ingredients such as:
- our handmade Australian organic marinated olives,
- our certified Australian organic olive oil,
- our delicious sweet pickled garlic and black garlic,
- our black and green olive spreads,
- Byron Bay grown preserved lemon.