The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Recipes and More

The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Recipes and More

The food you eat is fuel, and fuel is essential to health overall. One known diet is the Mediterranean. What's that? 

"You are what you eat" is somewhat true.

Your body needs nutrients to provide energy and building materials for important functions such as breathing, digestion, blood circulation, and staying warm, among many other daily tasks. 

They are also very important for the growth and repair of the cells in your body that make up vital organs. 

The two types of nutrients that you need to eat every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle are macronutrients and micronutrients. 

Macronutrients are needed in large amounts and include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts and include a variety of vitamins and minerals. 

Read: The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Vegetarians

Food also plays an important role in sexual function. Eating certain foods can help to support sexual performance, and following the Mediterranean diet, in particular, can have a positive influence on sexual health. 

The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Recipes and More

What is the Mediterranean Diet? 

The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits, Recipes and More

Technically, there is no "official" Mediterranean diet. 

It is a mix of food and cuisine from the region bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including the countries of Greece, Italy, France, Morocco, and Spain to name a few. 

Exact ingredients and recipes may vary depending on the country and region of origin, but there are many similarities between the cuisines of these countries. 

In general, a Mediterranean-style diet will include a higher amount of food than a typical Western diet:

Drinks:

  1. Coffee 
  2. , red wine,
  3. tea
  4. Water

Fish:

  1. Mussels
  2. crabs
  3. oysters
  4. Mackerel,
  5. Scallops
  6. Salmon
  7. sardines
  8. tuna
  9. trout

Fruit:

  1. Apples
  2. Bananas,
  3. Blueberries
  4. dates
  5. fruit Figs
  6. Grapes
  7. Melon
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Strawberries
  11. Healthy

Fats:

  1. Avocado
  2. oil Extra virgin
  3. Olives

Spices:

  1. Basil
  2. cayenne pepper
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Garlic
  5. Nutmeg
  6. Mint
  7. Oregano
  8. Pepper
  9. Rosemary
  10. Sage
  11. Sea salt
  12. Turmeric

Legumes:

  1. Black
  2. beans
  3. Chickpeas Kidney
  4. beans Peas
  5. Almonds Almond
  6. butter
  7. Cashews
  8. Hazelnuts
  9. Macadamia
  10. nuts Pistachios Walnut
  11. Seeds
  12. butter

Seed:

  1. Seed chia
  2. seeds Flax
  3. seeds Pumpkin
  4. seeds Sunflower seeds

Vegetables:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Brussels sprouts
  3. Carrots
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Cucumber
  6. Onions
  7. Mushrooms
  8. Potatoes
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Sweet potato
  12. Radish
  13. yams
  14. Cucumber
  15. Whole

grains:

  1. Barley Brown
  2. rice
  3. Buckwheat
  4. Corn
  5. Wheat
  6. Oatmeal Spaghetti
  7. Rye
  8. Rye
  9. Bread

Any Die Recipe isn't Mediterranean? 

There are dozens of easy and delicious recipes to make while following the Mediterranean diet. 

It may take a while to experiment and find one that suits your taste buds, but the main thing is to follow a few guidelines:

  1. Build your diet around vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, not red meat.
  2. Try to eat fish twice a week.
  3. Use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute for butter when preparing meals.
  4. Eat fresh fruit instead of sweets for dessert. 
  5. Drink plenty of water during the day and enjoy red wine in moderation.  
  6. Eat nuts as a substitute for unhealthy processed foods for snacks.

Easy recipes that you can try at home include:

  1. Tomato and cucumber
  2. salad Greek salad
  3. Hummus and whole wheat bread, crackers, or pita
  4. Grilled fish Grilled
  5. chicken skewers

What Foods Are Not Allowed in the Mediterranean Diet? 

The Mediterranean diet is also characterized by foods that you shouldn't eat, or should at least eat less of. 

On the Mediterranean diet, reduce your intake of red meat and dairy products such as butter, cheese, milk, and yogurt. 

For best results, those following the Mediterranean diet limit their intake of the following foods:

  1. Sweet foods such as candy, ice cream, pastries, soda, syrup, and other desserts
  2. Refined grains such as chips, white bread, chips, white pasta and dough with white flour
  3. Trans saturated fats are found in fried, baked goods, margarine, frozen foods and microwaved popcorn
  4. Refined oils such as seed oil, canola, grapeseed oil, and soybean oil.
  5. Processed meats such as deli meats, hot dog, pepperoni, salami and sausage

What are the Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet? 

When followed properly, research shows there are many benefits to maintaining a Mediterranean diet both for your overall health and sexual function.

In particular, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to help:

  1. Lower the risk of heart disease. During one five-year study, researchers concluded that the Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent
  2. Improve your sleep quality. A study of more than 1,600 adults concluded that the Mediterranean diet can improve sleep, especially for older people. 
  3. Can help lose weight. The dietary changes involved with the Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight and improve sexual function as a result. 
  4. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The heart-friendly nutrients in the Mediterranean diet coupled with reduced sugar intake can help balance blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic conditions.  
  5. Protect your brain function. A study of more than 500 people found that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and cognitive decline in older adults.
  6. The Mediterranean diet has characteristics in common with many Eastern diets, including more lean meat and seafood, than the typical Western or American diet.

Are There Any Disadvantages of the Mediterranean Diet? 

Eating the Mediterranean diet is largely beneficial because it is consumed through whole foods; it is an improvement for most of the people in the world especially in Indonesia. 

However, there are some potential downsides to following the Mediterranean diet. 

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For example, because most of the calories in this diet come from fat, this may be problematic for people with high cholesterol. 

Eating less dairy also has the potential to lead to lower calcium levels, and you may need to take calcium supplements or find alternative sources of calcium to keep your calcium within the optimal range. 

It can also lead to lower iron levels, so you may need to eat foods with higher amounts of iron or vitamin C, as these can help you absorb iron more efficiently.