May is Mediterranean Diet Month and if you’ve considered adopting this eating plan, this is a good time to start. People love the diet because it’s delicious - just think about the countries that fall under the Mediterranean Diet, like Italy, Greece and Spain. And it’s nutritious, too, with lots of plant-based, heart-healthy, foods. This way of eating focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts, legumes, and olive oil, with very little red meat, sugary foods, dairy, and processed foods. Here are a few ways to give your meals a mini Mediterranean makeover.
- Eat more dark leafy greens- Add more kale, spinach, and all kinds of greens to your soups, frittatas, salads and more because they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Play with pulses- We’re talking about chickpeas, lentils, fava beans, peas and other lentils that are an important part of the Mediterannean diet and are high in protein, fiber, and nutrients.
- Make olive oil a must- This dietary staple in Mediterranean kitchens is beloved for making vegetables taste more delicious and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Don’t forget the herbs- They’re also high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and herbs like basil, mint, dill, and oregano are all important in Mediterranean cuisine.
- Nosh on nuts- Eaten on their own or added to salads and other dishes, nuts including almonds, walnuts, and pistachios add heart-healthy fats as well as protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Love a lemon- This citrus can be squeezed into drinking water, salads, fish, and roasted vegetables to brighten the flavor, and it’s used in hummus, too.