Mediterranean meals are some of my favorite to eat. I love gyros (pronounced yee-rohs) and they are relatively easy to customize into different meal ideas. Home prepared meals tend to provide me with a superior dining experience than I can get from any restaurant. The meal ideas can come from southern France, Greece, southern Italy, Morocco, Spain or Tunisia. Mediterranean meals overall can help combat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. The overall health of someone who eats a lot of Mediterranean meals improves drastically since most of the meals include extra virgin olive oil, fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. Lean protein is also included (especially fish) as well as low fat dairy, even a glass of wine with dinner.
What’s more, regular Mediterranean meals can help lower the risk for depression. Depression is alleviated through the combination of polyunsaturated fats that are found in extra virgin olive oil and nuts. Antioxidants found in fruits also contribute to the fight against depression. The vegetables and wine provide B Vitamins, flavonoids and natural folate, all of which combat depression. I know it certainly helps me combat my own depression. I have noticed a lot more up days than down days when I have been eating Mediterranean meals. The up days are compounded by the delicious food I’ve been eating all from the meal ideas I draw from the internet or cook books.
The great thing about Mediterranean meals is anyone can make them. You probably have the right ingredients in your pantry as we speak and anything you do not already have in your pantry you will want to get from the grocery store (usually there is an ethnic section with Mediterranean style additions). At the very least you can get extra virgin olive oil and find a recipe online for really great gyros or other pita dips. Fresh vegetables are the best for cooking, but frozen will work if necessary. Canned vegetables are the lowest choice, but they will work if necessary. Likewise using fresh fruits will work the best, but frozen fruits will suffice. Stay away from canned fruits that are marinated in syrup, but those in their own juices or water can be used for Mediterranean meals.
Ned, MagicKitchen.com blogger