The Mediterranean Diet is based on the belief that a diet centered around classic foods from the Mediterranean region of Italy, Greece and Spain will lower cholesterol, reduce joint and muscle pain, improve heart health, brain function and help control weight. This diet includes foods that are high in fiber, low in fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Staples of the Mediterranean Diet include seafood, whole grain, olive oil, fresh vegetables, dairy products and fresh fruits. Here are some tasty breakfast ideas for the Mediterranean Diet. As a side note: it is recommended that all eggs are organic or free range with omega-3 fatty acids.
1. Omelet with Salmon and Asparagus
- 4 oz salmon
- ½ tsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp onion, diced
- 2 asparagus spears, steamed
- ¼ tsp lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp low fat milk
- ½ tbsp parsley
- Salt, pepper, dill and chives to taste
Add the oil to a nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for two to three minutes or until translucent. Add the asparagus, garlic and lemon juice. Sauté for two minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the milk, eggs, parsley and season with salt, pepper, dill and chives to taste. Add the eggs to the vegetable mixture and let set. This should take approximately 1½ minutes. Add the salmon to the skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow eggs to cook for two to three minutes. Fold the omelet in half and cook for one additional minute.
2. Toast with Cheese, Fruit and Nuts
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- ¾ oz low calorie cheese, such as Laughing Cow
- ½ pear, cored, peeled and sliced
- ½ tsp walnuts, chopped
This tasty breakfast incorporates almost all the fundamentals of the Mediterranean Diet: whole grains, healthy fats in the nuts and fresh fruits. Simply toast the bread and then spread with cheese and top with the pear and the nuts.
3. Granola with Fruit and Nuts
- ½ cup low fat granola
- ½ cup low fat or fat free milk
- ¼ banana, sliced and peeled
- ¼ medium apple, cored, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp walnuts, chopped
In a bowl, mix the granola with the milk. Top with the apple, banana and walnuts.
4. Breakfast Smoothie
- 2 oz no sugar added pure pomegranate juice
- ½ cup mixed berries, such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
- ½ small banana
- ¼ cup no sugar added apple juice
- ½ tbsp flaxseed
- 4 to 6 ice cubes
In a blender, add the ice, juices, fruits and flaxseed. Blend on high until smooth and enjoy.
5. Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts
- ½ cup oats
- 1 cup low fat or fat free milk
- 1 tsp almonds, sliced
- 1 tsp sunflower seeds
- ½ apple, cored, peeled and diced
- ¼ mango, peeled and diced
In a microwaveable bowl, combine the oats and mix. Microwave on high for two minutes. Mix in the almonds and sunflower seeds. Top with the mango and apple. Enjoy!
For individuals on the Mediterranean Diet, these breakfast ideas are all tasty and easy to make. Most importantly, they all incorporate the fundamentals behind the Mediterranean Diet.