Top 10 Mediterranean Foods & Their Benefits

Top 10 Mediterranean Foods & Their Benefits

Coming from Turkey, it's hard not to miss the fresh, natural, and healthy food. In my childhood, we spent the summers in Datca, a fishing village in the southeastern part of Turkey.

After spending the whole day at the beach, swimming in the crystal clear waters, and laying in the soothing shadow of the fig and almond trees, we would come home sunburnt and hungry. In the afternoon, the hassle in the kitchen would start: my mother and grandmother in the kitchen, preparing dinner with meze, soup, and many main courses.

Meanwhile, other family members and friends would chat while snacking on juicy figs and fresh grapes, and kids ran around playing hide and seek. I can still smell the sweet tang of the watermelon waiting to be served at the end of the dinner. And what was on the menu? 

1) Fresh fish - filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D and B2. They're rich in calcium, phosphorus, and minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. 

2) Bay herb - helps digestion. In ancient times it was used for many remedies for hair and skin health. 

3) Almonds - lowers blood sugar levels and are great for an energy boost.

4) Figs - improve bone health and are a perfect snack to feed your sweet tooth.

5) Honey -  two tablespoons of it can offer health benefits such as antioxidants, better wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

6) Olive oil - healthy fat that contains anti-inflammatory compounds. It benefits your heart, bone, and digestive health and helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. Make sure you get a cold-pressed organic extra virgin with low acidity.

7) Thyme - helps digestion and is perfect to pair with a bit of olive oil on feta cheese. 

8) Fresh tomatoes - reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

9) Courgette - contains high protein and is an excellent source of potassium, which contributes to maintaining normal blood pressure. 

10) Tahini - contains selenium which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and has anti-aging benefits.