Food and Nutrition

Why Mediterranean's Cuisine So Good For You

| by Mitzi Dulan

You have probably heard it several times; the Mediterranean diet has some major health benefits. What is all the talk about? Here’s a breakdown of some of the components and why it’s so great.

Tomatoes: The antioxidant lycopene is responsible for the red color of tomatoes and research links higher intakes with lower cancer rates. Refrigeration diminishes their flavor, however, so plan to store fresh tomatoes at room temperature.

Leafy greens: Arugula, mustard greens, and other leafy greens are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins such as beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Pasta: Whole-wheat pasta is always a better and a healthier alternative to bleached and processed white pasta. Mix with veggies and unsaturated fats for a tasty combo!

Fruit: Did you know that most Mediterranean cuisines serve fruit for dessert? Fruit is high in fiber, vitamins A and C and may contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium!

Fish: Fish is a great way to get in lean protein, and omega-3s. The healthy fats protect against abnormal heart rhythms and reduce inflammation. Fish high in omega-3s are salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, and sardines to name a few.

Garlic: Garlic helps keep total cholesterol and blood pressure down. Different varieties have different tastes; so experiment with different varieties to find ones you like! Store garlic away from heat and sunlight to prevent it from sprouting.

And don’t forget the wine!
Wine: A moderate amount of wine has been attributed with lower incidences of heart disease and diabetes. Drink in moderation, though, too much could have the opposite effect on your health!

Assistance provided by Stephanie Horvath