The Mediterranean diet isn’t new, but people all over the world are rediscovering it as a way to support living a healthier-feeling, well-rounded lifestyle. While the Mediterranean diet isn’t so much a diet as it is a lifestyle, it encourages people to consume foods which have the most health benefits.
You might be surprised to learn that the core of the Mediterranean “diet” doesn’t focus on food at all. A quick glance at the Mediterranean food pyramid will tell you that the most important aspects are moving in ways that spark joy, rather than dedicating hours and hours at the gym and eating mindfully and socializing with friends and family over meals.
Next on the pyramid are plants and whole grains. Each meal should have a broad spectrum of colorful vegetables and fruits to attain the greatest variety of nutrients and fiber. Whole grains and “ancient grains” like quinoa, amaranth, millet, farro and more are also key features of this diet and are valued for their fiber content.
Not all proteins are created equal. The Mediterranean diet is mostly plant-based, however, to maximize the benefits, varied and quality sources of protein are key.
Two servings of fatty fish and seafood such as salmon, sardines or tuna are central to this diet because of their naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids. Using olive oil over butter is another way to supplement your diet with healthy fats!
The Top of the Pyramid
While the Mediterranean diet doesn’t recommend cutting out specific food groups altogether, it does support infrequent consumption of some foods, including:
- Meats and sweets
- Dairy products
Meats and sweet desserts such as pastries are OK when consumed infrequently, but they should not be consumed on a regular basis while poultry, eggs and dairy products are OK in moderation, or small portions either daily or weekly.
Try out some of our favorite Mediterranean-inspired dishes below!
2 cups BareOrganics Beet Juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 six-ounce salmon fillets
Optional: 1 sliced lemon and fennel bulb
- In a skillet over medium heat, combine beet juice, salt and pepper, and bring to low boil over medium heat.
- Add the salmon fillets to the pan.
- For extra flavor, add lemon slice and fennel bulb.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat. Let simmer until fish is thoroughly cooked.
- Pair with brown rice or swiss chard for complete meal.
Lemon Turmeric Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
Black pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, fluff with a fork and let cool.
- Add lemon juice and turmeric to quinoa and mix well.
- Stir in tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions.
- Top with black pepper and enjoy!