Go Healthy! A Beginner’s Guide to Start the Mediterranean Diet!

Go Healthy! A Beginner’s Guide to Start the Mediterranean Diet! Warm Greek appetizers: Crispy baked pita bread with feta cheese, olives, peppers and herbs

You’ve heard about the benefits, but you don’t know what steps to take to start the Mediterranean diet? We’ve got you covered with an accessible guide to what to eat and how!

As we’ve written before, the Mediterranean diet was proven time and time again to help your body in numerous ways. So maybe you should try it too.

Research shows that people who follow this diet have a lighter body, and also a decreased risk of heart disease, depression, and dementia. So how about you start the Mediterranean diet and reap its benefits? Here are the rules!

How to start the Mediterranean diet

1. Consume a lot more fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and veggies are the absolute superstars if you want to try the Mediterranean. The recommended “dose” is 5 to 10 servings each day. One serving means 1/2 cup of cooked fruits and veggies or 1 cup of them raw.

Don’t know which fruits and veggies to pick? Try the “classics” of the Mediterranean diet:  oranges, lemons, grapes, eggplants, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

Go Healthy! A Beginner’s Guide to Start the Mediterranean Diet!

Olive oil and avocados are a source of healthy fats

2. Choose healthy fats

You can’t go wrong with consuming olives and olive oil! They are very rich in monounsaturated fats, and plant compounds called polyphenols. Try eating 4-6 servings per day. One serving is one teaspoon of olive oil or 5 olives. Also 1/8 of an avocado.

3. Seeds, nuts, and legumes

You can eat them because of their fiber and protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Try 1/2 cup of cooked legumes – beans, soybeans, or lentils, for instance -, maybe in the form of lentil soup or hummus, at least twice a week. Also, you can snack on about one tablespoon of nuts or 10-12 almonds or walnut halves daily.

Go Healthy! A Beginner’s Guide to Start the Mediterranean Diet!

Fish like salmon are an integral part of this diet

4. Fish and eggs

For 2-3 times a week, have 4 ounces of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore because they’re rich in omega-3 acids, which help keep your heart healthier. Combine eggs and veggies into a frittata every once in a while.

5. Meats

Some poultry in moderation is quite alright. Add some lean meat in the menu, whenever you feel like it. You can eat about 2-3 servings per week, one serving about the size of a computer mouse.

6. Dairy

Cultured milk like Greek yogurt, kefir, or ricotta cheese is easier to digest than milk. They also contain healthy bacteria that help out with your digestion. Choose 1-3 servings daily, which means that you can combine 1 cup of yogurt with 1 ounce of cheese, as a serving.

7. Try whole grains

They contain complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. Sourdough is healthy for you because it makes digestion easier and helps you absorb nutrients better. Have four small portions of whole-wheat bread. And do try pasta made with quinoa.

Go Healthy! A Beginner’s Guide to Start the Mediterranean Diet!

Use fresh herbs in a variety of dishes. They enrich flavors and fight inflammation

8. Herbs and spices

Rosemary, oregano, thyme, and parsley have a high concentration of antioxidants, and they fight inflammation in your gut. Because they’re very versatile, you can use them in multiple types of dishes. From fish to salads and pasta.

9. Hydrate!

Mediterranean people tend to drink coffee after a meal to help their digestion. But the best help you have is pure, fantastic water. Drink as much as you need, maybe add some green tea, mint, or fresh fruits for a drop of flavor!

10. Eat socially

People who live near the Mediterranean Sea understand the purpose of socializing while eating. Try family dinners more often, cook for your friends. Add smiles and music to the mix, and you will also embrace the spirit of the area, which is also vital for your health!

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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