On February 27, the most comprehensive study to date regarding the Mediterranean diet was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It reasserted the health benefits of the regimen rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish and even wine that can significantly lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. Robyn Youkilis, national consultant for health for Seamless.com, offers a number of helpful tips so that you can get the most of the Mediterranean diet.
Here are Robyn’s tips:
Health benefits of a Mediterranean diet:
- The Mediterranean diet is comprised mainly of fish, olive oil, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. All of these foods are good for your heart, rich in Omegas 3 and 6, anti-inflammatory and nourishing for your organs.
- The Mediterranean diet is effective because of its focus on high-quality fats, proteins, nuts, fruits and vegetables – whole foods. The fat from olive oil and nuts, especially, keep you feeling full longer, reducing trips to the vending machine or late-night snacks.
- The Mediterranean diet is chock-full of the “everyday superfoods” I recommend, so it’s a great guideline for people wanting to incorporate more healthful foods into their diets.
“Everyday Superfoods” in the Mediterranean diet:
“Everyday superfoods” is how Robyn refers to foods that have enormous nutritional and health benefits but are extremely common and easy to incorporate into any diet.
- Olive oil: (1) Olive oil is great for lowering blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, and also helps lower cholesterol associated with heart disease; (2) Olive oil is also very high in antioxidants – so say goodbye to free radicals and hello to healthy, younger-looking skin; (3) Try ordering your salad with olive oil on the side in lieu of dressing, or whip up my favorite Magic Lemon Dressing to add to a dry, takeout salad.
- Lentils: (1) Talk about a high-mileage food: one cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber; (2) Rich in iron and a great source of B vitamins and folate, lentils help stabilize your mood and balance metabolisms; (3) Lentils also keep amazingly well in the refrigerator, so if you’re ordering takeout or delivery, pick up a few extra sides of lentils for a healthy snack or side dish throughout the week, no cooking required.
- Dark leafy greens: (1) Dark leafy greens include so many options: arugula, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, chicory, collards, dandelion greens, endive, escarole, kale, kohlrabi, lettuces, mustard greens, napa cabbage, parsley, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens and watercress; (2) Nutritionally speaking, dark leafies are THE vegetable for nutrients and vitamins. They are extremely high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K; (3) Eating dark green vegetables helps prevent cancer, purifies your blood, strengthens your immune system, improves organ function (liver, kidney and gall bladder) and helps clear your lungs; (4) One cup of cooked broccoli contains 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Having enough fiber in your daily diet is the key to digestive health.
How to incorporate Mediterranean cuisine into your diet – effortlessly:
- Zero in on the good stuff: Seamless allows you to quickly filter restaurants in your neighborhood by cuisine type, so try browsing Greek, Moroccan or Mediterranean restaurants. Once you’ve found a restaurant, keep an eye out for popular, healthful dishes like red lentil soup, salmon kebabs, lentil and bulgur salad and “mezze” style bean and vegetable dishes.
- Resist the urge to snack: effortlessly. The Mediterranean diet is effective because of its focus on high-quality fats, proteins, nuts, fruits, and vegetables – whole foods. The fat from olive oil and nuts, especially, keep you feeling full longer, reducing trips to the vending machine or late-night snacks.
- Skip processed foods. Eating “real” foods from a restaurant or prepared at home is much better than consuming anything bagged or packaged. On Seamless, you can search for a specific food item like fish or lentil to quickly find the dishes that fall into this healthy diet.
- A study on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet was released last week, the most comprehensive to date, which found that adhering to a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish and even wine can significantly lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease.
For more information, on Seamles.com, click on this link.
To visit Robyn's Website, click on this link.