The Mediterranean diet is becoming increasingly popular due to the amazing health benefits it offers. This is no fad diet, this is simply the food eaten by generations of people living in Mediterranean countries such as Cyprus.
With a focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, well-fermented dairy products, oily fish and olive oil, it’s certainly a delicious way to look after your health. With the Mediterranean diet you can truly treat yourself and still become healthier. It’s a great diet for weight loss too as you certainly don’t feel you’re being deprived of tasty meals.
Studies have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet can lower your risks of many serious diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Culinary inspiration from Cyprus
Spend some time visiting the wonderful restaurants of Cyprus and you’ll certainly go home with lots of inspiration for healthy Mediterranean style meals.
Fresh fruit and vegetables
The Mediterranean diet makes good use of healthy fruits and vegetables. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, choose a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to get the greatest benefit. Add in tomatoes and blueberries to get the most from the powerful antioxidants they contain. Make a filling salad for dinner with rocket, watermelon and halloumi.
The Mediterranean diet also contains well-fermented dairy products, yoghurt that will boost the good bacteria in your gut keeping your digestive system healthy, and mature cheeses like feta full of bioavailable nutrients which will benefit your whole body.
Seafood & fish
The fresh fish in Cyprus is the highlight of any holiday to the island, and it’s also incredibly good for you. Full of important fatty acids, seafood and fish such as seabass, kalamari or cuttlefish helps to protect your heart and protect you from disease. Small fish, like marida and sardines, eaten whole with bones, provide the best form of readily available calcium for strong bones.
Olive oil and olives
The main fat used in Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries is olive oil, a healthy oil high in polyphenols and carotenoids, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Of course a bowl of olives is the ultimate snack, or starter before your main meal. Some of the best olives in the world grow in Cyprus, so be sure to enjoy a bowl or two during your stay and get all the benefits of the powerful antioxidants and the bioavailable calcium they contain.
Wheat bread and pasta
Mediterranean grains, such as wheat and barley, are widely used to make bread and pasta and it’s a great source of fibre. Try fermented forms of wheat, such as pourgouri, trachanas and wholemeal barley rusks made with sourdough that enhance the health of your gut and your immune system. Barley was used by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine for treating diseases.
Slow cooked healthy meat foods
Try Kleftiko traditionally made with Goat meat, slow cooked overnight in special clay pots or traditional tava with potatoes for a wonderful healthy lunch or add traditional barley rusks to your salads.
Healthy Mediterranean snacks
Even snacking can be healthy when you eat Cypriot foods. Grapes with honey and yoghurt are delicious, or how about cucumber with lemon and goat’s halloumi?
Enjoy your time in Cyprus with a glass of red wine
Of course you should always drink alcohol in moderation, but when you’re on holiday, watching the sun set over Paphos or Ayia Napa, it is nice to treat yourself to a little drink. Take a tip from the Mediterranean diet and make red wine your tipple of choice. High in antioxidants, red wine (always in moderation!) can provide significant benefits to your health. In particular, its high resveratrol content has been shown by a volume of studies to slow down aging and reverse disease. Alternatively, for a sweet tooth taste some Coummandaria! Good to know is that Cyprus traditional village wine, served in jars, is often lower in alcohol content.
A diet you can stick to
The Mediterranean diet is a diet you really can stick to. You don’t need to compromise and cut out all those tasty meals you’re craving. Be inspired by the cuisine of Cyprus and you can take advantage of those health benefits long after your holiday is over.
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Cyprus Health Services Promotion Board
38, Grivas Dhigenis,& 3, Deligiorgis str.
1509 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel: +357 22 88 98 90
Fax:+357 22 66 75 93