Why The Vegan Mediterranean Diet is Your Gateway to Optimal Health

A vegan diet and a Mediterranean diet are two healthy diet plans with many similarities, as they are both based on the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. By interweaving the principles of these two diets, we can create a super-healthy vegan Mediterranean diet that’s full of flavor and rich in nutrients. Furthermore, it’s easy to follow, safe, and offers protection against several chronic diseases.

In this article, we will discuss why the vegan Mediterranean diet is your getaway to optimal health and share with you the most simple and delicious plant-based and Mediterranean-inspired foods. Let’s go!

What are the principles of the vegan Mediterranean diet? 

The principles of the vegan Mediterranean diet are simply a combination of the principles of the two diets. Based on the eating habits of people who live in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy, Greece, and Spain, the Mediterranean diet is largely based on plant-based foods, just like the vegan diet. That’s why they have so many similarities!

So, some key principles of the vegan Mediterranean diet are:

Cooking plays a central role

The vegan Mediterranean diet excludes highly processed foods, which often contain preservatives, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, salt, and sugar, all of which can have numerous negative health effects. 

It includes lots of fruits and vegetables 

The vegan Mediterranean diet heavily relies on consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. 

Herbs and spices -the more, the better

Herbs and spices, like thyme, oregano, sage, and basil are the secrets behind the deliciousness of Mediterranean recipes

Plenty of extra virgin olive oil

People who live in the Mediterranean countries don’t use butter for cooking. They use the much healthier and nutrient-dense olive oil instead. 

Whole grains, instead of refined grains

Whole grains, like whole wheat, spelt, brown rice, corn, and whole-grain bread are staples of the Mediterranean diet, as they offer more nutrients than their non-whole-grain counterparts.

Consumption of plant proteins 

Legumes, like chickpeas, lentils, and beans, which are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, are the perfect alternative to animal protein.

An occasional glass of wine

The Mediterranean countries are known for their wine tradition, so a glass or two of red wine every now and then is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. In the vegan Mediterranean diet, one can choose a vegan wine.

What are the health benefits of the vegan Mediterranean diet?

The vegan Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits, as it combines the benefits of the two diets. The most important health benefits of the vegan Mediterranean diet are that it:

  • Lowers the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Supports a healthy balance of gut microbiota, resulting in a healthier digestive system.
  • Lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Helps weight loss.
  • Promotes longevity.
  • Slows the decline of brain function.
  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Can reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Can control blood sugar levels.
  • Is anti-inflammatory.
  • Supports healthy skin.

How to follow a vegan Mediterranean diet

The vegan Mediterranean diet not only includes a combination of nutrients that are beneficial for your overall health, but it’s also easy to follow. 

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared though! You will need to make sure that you get all the nutrients your body needs, including protein. Since meat, fish, and eggs are excluded from the vegan Mediterranean diet, you will need to rely on plant proteins, like legumes, soy products, buckwheat, and nuts. 

The vegan Mediterranean diet doesn’t include dairy products either. Thankfully, a wide variety of plant milk options are available, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the ones you like and switch animal milk with plant-based alternatives!

Delicious vegan Mediterranean meal ideas

If you are wondering what you can eat in a vegan Mediterranean diet, here are some ideas that will satisfy your taste buds:

Yummy vegan Mediterranean breakfast ideas

  • Overnight oats with apple, cinnamon, and plant milk
  • Sandwich with tomato, spinach, and cashew cheese
  • Berry chia pudding with granola
  • Overnight oats with fig and maple syrup
  • Baked pears with coconut yogurt, almonds, and maple syrup
  • Smoothie bowl with berries and almond flakes
  • Blueberry muffins with whole wheat
  • Overnight oats with blueberries and banana slices
  • Savory muffins with spinach
  • Mashed potato pancakes with vegan cheese and chopped scallions
  • Vegan pancakes with cherry tomatoes and pesto
  • Overnight oats with cherries and walnuts
  • Coconut yogurt with blueberries and maple syrup
  • Quinoa and chia oatmeal with raisins and almonds

Hearty vegan Mediterranean meal ideas

As you get used to the principles of the vegan Mediterranean diet, it will be a lot easier to adapt it to suit your needs and your taste. Once you make the necessary changes, everything will fall into place and you will be able to enjoy the numerous benefits of this diet plan!