Health Benefits Associated With Eating the Med Way

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Healthy ingredients sitting on a wooden table.

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month ( aka Med Month ). Whether your doctor has suggested that you make adjustments to your diet or you have simply decided improve your health by making healthier food choices, I encourage you to check out Med Instead of Meds. This is one of the most popular programs that I offer at Haywood Extension. It is never too late to start making healthy eating choices and regardless of your culture, your budget or your personal preferences, eating the Med Way can be the key to improving and maintaining your health.

This month long celebration creates awareness of the delicious foods and wide-ranging health benefits associated with the Mediterranean way for eating and living that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.

The Med Way emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil while limiting highly processed foods and added sugar. Research surrounding the Mediterranean Diet has revealed a wide range of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean way of eating and living which include decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases including some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

One of my favorite recipe combinations from Med Instead of Meds is the Catfish Corn Quinoa and Greens (Cilantro Lime Slaw). My family loves this meal and I love the fact that it is a healthy, reasonably priced meal to prepare for them. Now that we are headed into summer, many of the vegetable ingredients in this recipe can be found in your garden, at your local farmers market or roadside stand. As for the catfish, it can easily be found at your local grocery store or fish market fresh or frozen. If you are the adventurous type, you might even try catching your own.

Check out Med Instead Of Meds or contact Julie Sawyer, Haywood County Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for more information and recipes.