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Quick And Easy: How To Start A Mediterranean Diet

Quick And Easy: How To Start A Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet mostly consists of having more vegetables, and other plant-based food like whole grains, fruits, legumes, olive oil and a little amount of protein. The diet incorporates lean sources of protein like poultry and fish. It also uses spices and herbs to flavor food, rather than using salt. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to start this type of diet. 

A Simple 7 Step-by-step Guide on Starting a Mediterranean Diet: 

1. Ditch the butter and margarine and replace with healthy fats like olive oil.

Olive oil is a good source of mono-unsaturated fats and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. You can spice things up with a quality extra virgin olive oil by mixing it with balsamic vinegar. The mixture is great for dipping bread. By adding a sweetener like honey, this mixture can be transformed from a dip to a salad dressing. Olive oil is great for cooking and baking too.

2. Go for healthier protein substitutes

Switch the red meat and try leaner versions of protein like skinless chicken and turkey. You can also get your protein needs from legumes, beans, nuts and other plants. The reason for eliminating red meat in the diet is to lower the consumption of food rich in saturated fats. The change does not have to be sudden, so try to incorporate small changes one meal at a time. If you feel like you are missing your steaks and other red meats, you can have them occasionally. 

3. Eat vegetables

The goal is to eat at least three to eight servings of vegetables daily. Try to consume a variety of vegetables to get the necessary vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in one. They are also rich in antioxidants, that protects against free-radicals. Green salads are usually the best recipes to get the most out of your veggies.

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4. Opt for whole-grain pasta, bread and rice

Grains in their natural forms are very rich in fiber and make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. This is a great staple for would-be weight watchers because of this reason alone.

5. Eat more nuts

Nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are beneficial to your health. They are mostly unsaturated fats that are beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases. A handful of nuts is the recommended amount per day. Try to eat them in their most natural form and avoid chocolate-coated, or sugar-coated ones. 

6. Snack on fruits

Eating fruits instead of unhealthy processed snacks are a much better option. Fruits, like the pineapple, are rich in bromelain, which is an enzyme that helps reduce inflammation, especially on the nose and sinuses and even after surgery. Fruits also have natural sugars and are abundant in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants too.

7. Use fresh herbs and spices

Limit the use of salt in flavoring your dishes, instead make use of fresh plant herbs and spices that will make your dishes burst with unique aromas and exciting flavors. Just a little sprinkle goes a long way and overall, a healthier way to make food tasty.

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Here is an easy 3-step recipe for the Mediterranean diet-convert like you. 

Mediterranean Halibut with Couscous 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of halibut steaks

1/4 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

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2 chopped shallots

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed

2 cups diced tomatoes

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1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1 package of couscous prepared according to package instructions 

Procedure:

  1. Coat the fish with flour and cook in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes until well browned on both sides. Remove the fish and keep warm.
  1. Reduce heat to medium and then add the shallots until transparent. Pour in the chicken broth, oregano, tomatoes and olives and the mixture boils. Cook for five minutes until the sauce thickens.
  1. Pour the sauce over the fish and a plate of couscous. 

A Mediterranean diet is not so hard to follow at all. It is one of the easiest diet plans that does not deprive you of food. It simply introduces substitutes or healthier versions of what you are presently consuming. It focuses on choosing fresh and wholesome foods as better choices. They are also quick and so easy to prepare.

Featured photo credit: zouhir kharmaz/https://www.flickr.com/photos/129382913@N03/16274349534/in/photolist-qN7i8m-8vzmUs-72zGDW-88nvri-rAZCMb-8BJ67d-nxyeeg-rGxKyX-hiW8tL-qqyNhr-aFXkUr-938W8u-7PH6Yz-ghPtRg-6zPK5F-a6dCkk-a6dCpX-a6gtX3-uRAYah-iAbp9G-9m8MF1-hNtLwn-CQnxTF-ASP1ET-BqkKd7-y5jHem-yJQBGr-jkMsKP-npgMtJ-8tV45g-hUeiNo-8bUuPm-58uCHg-odd3eF-uRAXxW-nv5Tro-cVqAZo-gDwuh4-vdUqzf-uhzjtR-gaz4ev-C3PNg-sXfAM3-bTtVae-nfCT8p-nkwkjC-tFdZ41-yUshYy-ryerL4-hhY52h via fitnessingym.blogspot.com

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Mike Dawson

International Trade with Healthy Living Style

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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