In contrast to some other types of healthier diet, the Mediterranean diet is also healthy and very tasty. Mediterranean diet is called the traditional diet, having in mind that with this food is fed the population of Italy and Greece in the late 1950s and 1960s. About this diet many studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet helps: to maintain the desired body weight (lose weight), to prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, and significantly contributes to the prevention of heart attack and stroke, and some cancers .
Here are characteristic ingredients that make this food so healthy and tasty.
Olive oil – is a part of almost every meal in the Mediterranean diet. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in tocopherols, carotenoids and polyphenols; All these substances have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For one of these polyphenols, known as a potent antioxidant hydroxytyrosol, studies have shown that acts preventively against cancer by causing apoptosis (death) of cancer cells and inhibits the division of cancer cells.
Olive oil is most commonly used for salads. But, in contrast to popular opinion, quality olive oil has a higher smoke point of 210 ° C, so that without any problems can be used for cooking and baking (see more here).
Olives – Olives are usually eaten whole in salads, or added to foods. They are rich in all nutrients like olive oil, plus a plant fiber. Like olive oil, have anti-inflammatory properties and act preventively against many health problems.
Wheat – Wheat is the main cereal in the Mediterranean diet. They are used mostly two types, farro and wheat. Their yellow color comes from beta-carotene. Wheat is very rich in plant fiber, B group of vitamins, proteins and minerals including magnesium, zinc and iron. It is also rich in antioxidants.
Garlic – One of the crucial in Mediterranean cuisine. It contains about 33 sulfur compounds, which give it its pungent smell, but also has positive effects on health: it’s has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Herbs – Rosemary, basil, sage, thyme and mint is widely used as a spice in Mediterranean cuisine. In addition, they are very rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances, especially polyphenols.