Israel is a Mediterranean nation, and the conventional Israeli cuisine is derived from the Mediterranean diet. It is known for several types of heart-healthy benefits. The Israeli Diet is believed to be one of the healthiest Diet throughout the world. The main focus of this Diet is on eating plant-based foods that are rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants. This promotes weight loss and also helps to prevent several types of diseases that include heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, premature death, and strokes. Let us learn more about the composition of this Diet and the reasons that make it a healthy diet.
Israel’s diet has plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains. It has meat in very little amounts. A majority of the fat is derived from olives, nuts, avocados, and healthy oil. Hummus, a major dish that forms this Diet. This delicious dish is made of chickpeas, lemon juice, Tahini, olive oil, and garlic. It provides the right proportion of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein to the body.
The dish is so filling and can be consumed in any meal. Besides it, there are a few more very healthy recipes that are savored as a part of an Israeli dish. These include Shakshouka (eggs baked in vegetable and tomato sauce), Jachnun (baked dough), borekas (filled with potatoes cheese, and other vegetables), antioxidant-rich classic Israeli salad (prepared with wheat, grapes, barley, figs, olives, honey, and pomegranates), eggplant tempura, baklava churros, sun-dried tomato falafel, seven-species yogurt bowls, Labane (a tangy flavored yogurt spread) and more.
What is the principle of the Israeli Diet?
Israeli Diet is low in fat, and rich in fat-free lean protein sources, plant-based foods like fruits, beans, and vegetables, and fish. The Diet also emphasizes practicing portion control. It encourages of use of natural and organic spices, seeds, and herbs as a substitute for fat or sodium to offer delectable flavor.
At the core of this Diet lies an abundance of legumes, vegetables, wine, Tahini, eggplant, falafel, and a variety of salads with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil. Meat, in moderate amounts, is occasionally the part of the main meal. Every meal completes with a piece of fruit as a dessert.
Characteristics Of Israeli Diet
It is not a matter of chance that makes Israel one of the healthiest nations in the world. The country reports the lowest rate of diet-based deaths all across the world. It is ranked at the tenth position on the 2019’s Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index. The credit for these amazing statistics goes to the Mediterranean diet / Israeli Diet that these people consume.
Israeli Diet Practices Indians can Follow
These items are usually consumed in Israel and India. Any Indian who wants to follow Balanced Diet for weight loss can try to include these food items.
Encourages Plant-based eating
The Mediterranean / Israeli Diet comprises of moderate intake of poultry, and fish, and low amounts of dairy products, sweets, and processed and red meats. It encourages eating more plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, beans, etc.
Salad with all main meals
Freshly sliced salad forms the basis of every Israeli meal. Israeli salad comprises of locally cultivated tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, herbs.
According to the people in Israel, breakfast should be of a King size. They consider it the most important meal of the day. It should comprise a wide range of raw diced vegetables in salad form, shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce), baked pieces of bread with cheese, porridge, and other types of warm meals. Eating more in the breakfast and less in the dinner helps prevent the rise in blood sugar levels, facilitates weight reduction, improves metabolism, and avoid insulin resistance in the body.
Tahini is a powdered form of sesame seeds, that is again an essential part of an Israeli dish. It is a prime ingredient in hummus and various other dishes such as falafel, whole-roasted eggplant, and sabich. Sesame seeds are very nutritious. It has a good amount of copper, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, iron, molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B1, dietary fiber, and selenium.
When it comes to fruit, pomegranate is mostly used for the preparation of fruit salads, vegetable salad, beverages, marinades, and as a dessert at the end of the meal. The seeds of this fruit are effective in the prevention of heart ailment and cancer.
It is also found to ease gastric troubles, hot flashes, conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, hypertension, high cholesterol, and osteoarthritis. These seeds improve immunity levels and lessen acute inflammation in the body.
No Israeli meal is complete without an addition of homemade hummus. It is a creamy and nutritious delight that is made by adding protein-rich whole cooked chickpeas, zaatar, sesame tahini, with lemon juice, and sea salt and garnished with parsley and olive oil. You would find it a very fulfilling and satisfying meal.
No Israeli salad is complete without the addition of sliced tomatoes in it. Tomatoes are consumed in the form of tomato paste, sauce, salad, etc. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and the carotenoid phytonutrient called “lycopene” that gives it a red color. Lycopene works as a potent antioxidant that improves the health of the heart, prostate, bones, skin, and blood pressure.
Unrefined extra-virgin olive oil is considered to be the center stone of the Mediterranean diet. It is highly used for cooking and as a dressing in vegetable and fruit salads. The olive is believed to be an abundant source of healthful monounsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Extra Virgin Olive oil is a light and pure oil that has low amounts of acidity in it. It has low impurities but high amounts of antioxidants. This makes it powerful for protection against heart ailments. The monounsaturated fat in the oil shows protective properties that are effective in keeping a wide range of chronic ailments at bay.
After tomatoes, Israelis is world-famous for growing dates. Due to the large production of dates, it is a common inclusion in the Israeli Diet. This superfruit is consumed in the raw form or honey form. The fruit is a rich source of vitamins A and vitamin B, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and protein.
The nutritional composition of this fruit shows that it is helpful to protect a person against stroke and heart attack. It works by reducing blood triglyceride levels in the body. In this way, it results in steadying blood pressure levels in the body. The interesting thing about dates is that the natural sugar in this dried fruit preserves it. So, there is no need to add sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate to prolong its life.
Bamba is a delicious snack that is enjoyed by almost all Israeli. This packaged snack is processed food. It has peanuts as its main ingredient. This healthy and crunchy peanut snack is fortified with minerals and vitamins that include iron and folic acid. The main benefit of this snack is that it plays an important role in keeping children free of any type of peanut-induced allergies.
Seasonality has immense significance when it comes to the Israeli Diet. People in the country are emphasized to include more seasonal produce as the foods retain more amount of flavor and nutrients when their freshness level is highest.
In addition to it, local seasonal produce requires less intervention of humans that include coatings, and pesticides. It contains less fuel to reach consumers and is affordable on their pockets.
Israeli people are very social. They are seen to prefer eating in large gatherings. This is because their culture tells them that communal eating offers varied types of health benefits. These meals are convivial and relaxed. Not just adults engage in communal meals, but they instill the same habit in their children too. They teach them to form sensible choices in the Mediterranean context, and also show them the right way to prepare salads so that it retains its nutrition in the best way possible.
Prefer Forks in place of knives
The number of vegetarians in Israel is the highest when compared to any other country. Their Diet includes more fruits, whole grains and veggies, and less meat. This Diet, along with thirty minutes of exercise daily, can help them cure or reverse life-threatening diseases that include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and more.
Moderate wine drinking
The Israeli Diet includes wine in limited amounts as it possesses helpful cellular attributes that prolong longevity, cancer and treat cardiovascular ailments in a person. It contains high antioxidant content than white wine that helps in keeping people healthy.