The Mediterranean diet is recommended as the healthiest way to eat by many Certified Nutritionists, including me.
The true Mediterranean Diet is based on the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts,seafood, olive oil, and dairy—with perhaps a glass or two of red wine. That’show the inhabitants of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy ate circa 1960, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancy among the highest.
Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits
The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits, including the following:
- Preventing heart disease and strokes. Following a Mediterranean diet limits your intake of refined breads, processed foods, and red meat, and encourages drinking red wine instead of hard liquor—all factors that can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
- Keeping you agile. If you’re an older adult, the nutrients gained with a Mediterranean diet may reduce your risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70 percent.
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may improve cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and overall blood vessel health, which in turn may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
- Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The high levels of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet can prevent cells from undergoing a damaging process called oxidative stress, thereby cutting the risk of Parkinson’s disease in half.
- Increasing longevity. By reducing your risk of developing heart disease or cancer with the Mediterranean diet, you’re reducing your risk of death at any age by 20%.
- Protecting against type 2 diabetes. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber which digests slowly, prevents huge swings in blood sugar, and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Try this healthy Mediterranean Diet soup recipe. This soup provides the perfect balance between spicy, savory and herbal flavors. The Monterey jack cheese and avocado add a slight creaminess. This is also a good way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Spicy Turkey Soup
Ingredients: (serves 8)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 4 cups low-sodium, gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups shredded cooked turkey meat (white and dark)
- 1 small bag white corn chips
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion.Cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Stir in tomatoes, broth, oregano, ground chipotle pepper, cumin, black pepper, bay leaf and turkey.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
To serve, break corn chips (about 5 or 6 per serving) into bite-size pieces and place in bowls. Ladle soup over chips. Sprinkle with cilantro and cheese. Garnish with avocado slices and lime wedges. Feel free to eliminate the chips to cut down on calories.
Nutrition: (per serving):
Click here to get this healthy Mediterranean diet recipe.