With its combination of lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of fresh veggies and herbs, and whole grains, the Mediterranean diet has been hailed by nutritionists, doctors and other experts as one of the healthiest diets in the world. There’s no shortage of research to back up the health benefits of Mediterranean eating: In an analysis of more than 1.5 million adults, researchers found that a Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic. Adopting this eating style at any stage of life will help reduce chronic illness and extend our years of healthy living.
If you’re looking for inspiration for delicious Mediterranean meals, you can turn to many resources (check out some of our favorite books below); one of the best is The Mediterranean Dish, the excellent blog of Suzy Karadsheh. Suzy grew up just blocks from the Mediterranean Sea in Port Said, Egypt, where her mom incorporated the eclectic cuisine of their region—Port Said is a strategic port connecting Europe and the Middle East, and is just hours from Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece and Italy—into vibrant dishes shared with friends, family and neighbors. Today, Suzy lives in the United States, where she explores her rich culinary heritage and shares her fabulous recipes and tantalizing step-by-step photos with readers from across the globe. Here are some of Suzy’s favorite healthy recipes for late spring and early summer.
• Whole Roasted Red Snapper Recipe with Garlic and Vegetables
• Fattoush Salad Recipe
• Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe with Chopped Vegetables, Chickpeas and Artichokes
• Turkish Fried Eggplant Recipe with Green Peppers and Tomato
• Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe
The key tenets of the Mediterranean diet read like excellent dietary advice, no matter what we eat. They include eating primarily plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts; using olive oil as the primary fat source; relying heavily on fresh herbs and spices; reducing red meat and eating plenty of fish and poultry; plus drinking red wine in moderation.
• Mediterranean Cooking by Sterling Publishing
• Modern Mediterranean by Melia Marden
• Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi