Looking for an eating style that is not only delicious, but offers a myriad of health benefits as well? Consider the Mediterranean Diet! With its bowls of fresh pasta tossed with olive oil, herbs and tomatoes, fish grilled with lemon and capers and fresh fruit and nuts for dessert, there’s no better way to eat.
MEDITERRANEAN DIET BASICS
The Mediterranean Diet – centered around enjoying a variety of foods such as grains (including pasta), fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, beans, herbs, spices and nuts – has been associated with numerous positive health benefits and is regarded as one of the healthiest eating patterns.
A variety of such whole foods, working in synergy, provides health benefits that individual nutrients, such as beta-carotene or fiber, can’t deliver.
HEALTH BENEFITS GALORE
This is no fad diet; Mediterranean eating patterns were followed for thousands of years in the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea such as Spain, Greece, Morocco, Turkey and of course, Italy. Its healthy lifestyle has been the subject of intensive research for over 50 years.
The Mediterranean Diet can have a big impact on the prevention and treatment of so many of the conditions related to the American lifestyle. Studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with reduced risk of chronic conditions such as
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Eating a Mediterranean Diet can also boost memory and improve one’s cognition. Research suggests people who follow this diet have improved attention, language and cognitive function, slowed rates of cognitive decline with aging and even reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, the Mediterranean diet is associated with a longer life.
HOW TO EAT MED
Enjoy vegetables, fruits and grains at each meal. Pasta can and should be a regular part of the diet, in moderate portions, of course. Fresh fruit such as melon, figs or grapes can serve as a simple dessert.
Eat beans, nuts and seeds regularly. From chickpeas (garbanzos) and lentils to walnuts and sesame seeds, these basic foods are rich in protein and good-for-you fats.
Fish are recommended at least twice a week, along with small portions of eggs, yogurt, cheese and poultry.
Olive oil and olives provide the majority of fat in the diet. Use olive oil liberally when cooking or for dressing salads and cooked vegetables.
Water is the beverage of choice, although for those who imbibe, a daily glass of wine with meals is included.
Herbs and spices – part of the diet due to their dominant role in the Mediterranean flavor profile – are used liberally. Not only do they impart flavor, they provide significant amounts of antioxidants.
Sweets and red meat are limited to just once in a while.
TWO MORE THINGS. The Mediterranean Diet stresses the importance of daily physical activity and eating with family and friends.
Where to start? Think pasta! I know I do, especially when time is tight but I still want to put satisfying food on the dinner table.
For a Mediterranean-inspired meal flavored with basil and other herbs and spices, try Giovanni Rana’s Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Tortelloni with Peppers, Pesto & Goat Cheese.
For more easy, mouthwatering recipes, check out the recipe page at Giovanni Rana.
The brand, which has been making pasta for over 50 years, was founded on innovation, superior standards and natural ingredients.
- All of Giovanni Rana’s products are made with premium fillings, only using the highest quality and freshest tasting ingredients with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors added. In fact, the ingredients – like the basil and cheeses – for the pastas and sauces are sourced from farmers around the world.
- The yellow dough used in the pasta is perfectly thin and based off of recipes used by Giovanni for decades, allowing for more flavor and less cook time.
Giovanni Rana refrigerated filled tortellini and ravioli – made up of a thin layer of pasta wrapped around a variety of cheeses, vegetables or meats – are unique in that they provide a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as several vitamins and minerals.
The Mediterranean Diet is a delicious way to serve up good nutrition and health regardless of your ethnic roots. Mangia!
This post is sponsored by Giovanni Rana