Coffee and the Mediterranean Diet
One of the most popular and widely successful eating patterns these days is the Mediterranean diet. Can you combine your coffee love with it?
Origins of the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet was born in the Mediterranean basin, which was the hub of the ancient world. Crete, lying in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, was thought to be the original birthplace of this way of eating. For thousands of years, cultures have eaten what their land was able to produce. In Crete and many Mediterranean societies, their land has been able to produce fruit, vegetables, olives, legumes, and wine.
Cretans ate what was in season with a daily concentration on fresh produce and carbs. Red meat was eaten very rarely as bigger animals were very expensive and seen as a delicacy (usually eaten on holidays). Other meat, such as fish and chicken, were eaten once or twice weekly. This Cretan diet was widely practiced throughout the Mediterranean with small adaptations in each region depending on what kinds of plants and livestock the land would sustain.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is not really a “diet” in its modern sense. When people hear “diet”, they tend to think of cutting meals, counting calories, and being aimlessly starving for weeks. The Mediterranean diet is more of a guideline of healthy foods that one can eat—all of the foods happen to be very healthy and organic. Because this diet came from the ancient world, it is focused on products that were easily harvested and produced. This means that there are no processed foods or modern cuisine on the menu.
The Mediterranean diet is focused on consuming healthy fats, whole grains, and produce (with the occasional glass of wine). This dietary plan is unlike others because it encourages consuming a lot of healthy fats (like omega-3 fatty acids) which are actually linked to LOSING, not gaining, weight. Healthy fats can be found in foods like avocado, salmon, and olive oil. The diet also focuses on whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Once again, these foods were the most widely accessible during ancient Mediterranean times, so they were staples and superstars of every meal. The most important components of the Mediterranean diet (healthy grains, vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats) should be consumed at every meal.
It is important to note that healthy fats are NOT PROCESSED. Most fats that people on a Western Diet consume daily are trans fats and saturated fats which are found in high concentrations in most processed meats. These fats are very bad for heart health and digestion. The Mediterranean diet focuses on non-processed foods that would be accessible to a coastal farm or village. The simpler the ingredients, the better! Finally, as is with most healthy lifestyles, regular exercise is encouraged.
Why is the Mediterranean Diet right for me?
There are many claimed health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. To list just a few,
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower chances of heart disease
- Prevents stroke
- Increased agility and joint strength
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s
- Increased longevity
- Protects against type 2 diabetes
It is clear that this diet has many pros, and people who live by this diet are generally much healthier than those who do not. An example of success can be seen by the countries whose citizens follow the Mediterranean diet. Italy, for example, is the healthiest country in the world. One of the primary reasons for its high health and happiness is due the Mediterranean diet.
Another great thing about the Mediterranean diet is that, because it is heavily reliant on produce and foods lower on the trophic level, it is more sustainable than many other diets! Buying local produce and fresh ingredients reduces your carbon footprint and supports local farmers—huge bonus!
Why coffee and the Mediterranean diet go hand in hand
When reviewing the pros to the Mediterranean diet, it became quite apparent that those positives overlapped with the positives of consuming something else—coffee!
According to the American Heart Association, drinking coffee can…
- Give you energy and aid weight loss
- Sharpen the mind and increase focus
- Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Protect from cell damage
- Lowers risk of mortality attributed to heart disease, nervous system diseases and suicide
Given that both drinking coffee and following the Mediterranean diet help heart health and so many other categories of health, why not combine the two? We at Waka Coffee encourage adding a few cups of coffee to the Mediterranean diet in order to maximize the claimed benefits of each component. Both the coffee and healthy diet will work together to ensure your mind and body are working in unison as a well-oiled machine.
If you are looking to make this dietary transition as easy as possible, Waka Coffee premium instant coffee is a great product to make coffee drinking an easy addition to your diet. This quality instant coffee powder is added and dissolved to warm or cold water to make the perfect cup of coffee in seconds! Plus, it is easily made on the go which means health benefits for all, regardless of how busy your schedules are.
Important note: adding excess sugar or dairy to coffee takes away from the health benefits, so be sparing when adding extra ingredients to your coffee.
If you are curious about picking up the Mediterranean diet, look no further for some inspiration for an easy place to start!
Greek Yogurt with figs and honey, a side of scrambled eggs, and (of course) a cup of black instant coffee.
Avocado toast (on whole wheat bread) with scrambled eggs or lox (cured sliced salmon), and a cup of coffee.
Veggie Hummus Wrap with any hummus of your choosing, cilantro, cucumber, tomato, red onion, feta, olive oil, garlic, and any lettuce of your choosing + cup of coffee.
Simple, easy, and TASTY Greek Salad, + cup of coffee.
Quinoa bowl with grilled chicken or salmon, lettuce, chickpeas, and roasted tomato.
Pesto Pasta salad with peas, pecans, fresh basil, and tomatoes (use whole grain pasta).
Dinner is meant to be enjoyed with a glass of red wine, too!
We at Waka Coffee hope this post makes eating healthy an easily attained goal for you.
With the Mediterranean and coffee diet, being healthy and happy has never been so easy!