A healthy way of life and a sustainable diet pattern, Mediterranean diet is usually followed for controlling hypertension, blood sugar levels and managing weight. The diet includes whole, minimally processed foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Lean proteins like fish and poultry and olive oil rich in healthy fats are consumed in this diet. A low calorie, low salt and high fibre food pattern, Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight in the healthiest possible way. (Also read: What is mediterranean diet; top benefits from weight loss to heart attack prevention)

Health benefits of Mediterranean diet range from reducing heart disease risk to weight management. The diet is nutrient dense and high in fibre which can help manage chronic diseases.(Freepik)

“The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its rich nutrient profile, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fibre, antioxidants, and proteins, the Mediterranean diet supports heart health, digestive well-being, and overall vitality,” says Dr Charu Dua, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.

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Health benefits of Mediterranean diet range from reducing heart disease risk to weight management. The diet is nutrient dense and high in fibre which can help manage chronic diseases.

“The diet’s focus on whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats helps regulate blood sugar levels. Potential links to reduced cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases due to anti-inflammatory properties. It is associated with lower risks of certain cancers, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome,” says Dr Dua.

To incorporate this diet into your routine, use olive oil, continue the intake of whole grains, increase vegetable intake, include legumes, use fresh herbs and spices, incorporate seafood, choose moderate dairy, and snack on nuts and seeds.

Mediterranean diet recipes

Here are some Mediterranean recipe ideas suggested by Dr Dua you can indulge in:

1. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Ingredients: Chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano.

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and toss.

2. Quinoa Pilaf with Vegetables

Ingredients: Quinoa, mixed vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, carrots), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.

Method: Cook quinoa, sauté vegetables in olive oil, mix with quinoa, add herbs, and season with lemon juice.

3. Grilled Fish with Herbs

Ingredients: Fish fillets, olive oil, garlic, lemon, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Method: Marinate fish in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Grill until cooked.

4. Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Ingredients: Lentils, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, olive oil, vegetable broth, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Method: Sauté vegetables in olive oil, add lentils, spices, and broth. Simmer until lentils are tender.

5. Greek Yogurt Parfait with Fresh Fruits and Nuts

Ingredients: Greek yogurt, mixed fruits (Indian berries, mango), honey, almonds, and flaxseeds.

Method: Layer Greek yogurt with fruits, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with nuts and seeds.