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Left to Right: Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins and Kashi, Mint and Almond Salad

A simple solution to tackle obesity and maintain a healthy weight is to start the Mediterranean diet. Medical evidence and doctors suggest a Mediterranean diet quickly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.Also Read - 10 Refreshing Summer Beverages You Must Have to Beat The Heat, Shahnaz Husain Shares Tips

The Food Research and Action Center states that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Furthermore, researchers say the heaviest Americans have become even heavier in the past decade. Also Read - Can You Identify This Famous Sweet From Bihar?

A lot of people find crash dieting to be an easy solution to lose weight. As per a report published in Postgraduate Medical Journal, experts suggest that crash dieting can be harmful. Instead, it’s better to focus on the type and amount of food intake one has. Weight-loss industries often advocate calorie restriction rather than good nutrition. However, the aim should be to consume food that will add value to your health and not increase your weight at the same time. Consuming no food is not a solution to improve your health. Also Read - 7 Must-Have Summer Coolers You Should Drink to Beat the Heat

For a fit lifestyle, foods high in salt and refined sugar should be eaten less often and in small amounts. If you are overweight, the simple yet hard solution to adopt is to eat less and be more active.

The Mediterranean diet works because it consists of olive oil, fruits, vegetables and, most importantly, nuts, rather than animal fat or butter. It is inspired by traditional cuisine of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy. Experts also say this diet can quickly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and may be even better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.

Here are two quick, easy and healthy Mediterranean recipes:

Kashi, Mint and Almond Salad:

This dish is a mixture of grains and is often served as a warm breakfast cereal. It is healthy, nutritious and yummy.

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes | Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some additional for drizzling

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup uncooked Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 5 tablespoons sliced natural almonds

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

  • 4 large romaine leaves

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add cumin and garlic and cook for about one minute until fragrant.

  2. Add Kashi, two cups water, and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until Kashi is tender, about 40 minutes (check occasionally to make sure Kashi isn’t sticking; add water if needed). Transfer to a bowl; remove and discard bay leaves. Add lemon juice and remaining oil and cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

  3. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add tomatoes, 4 tablespoons almonds, mint and parsley. Toss well.

  4. Place a romaine leaf on each of four plates. Spoon mixture into center of the leaves. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of almonds.

H/T: WholeLiving.com

Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins:

Adding pine nuts to this dish gives it the required crunchy taste, and the golden raisins brighten up the sautéed spinach.

Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, (see Ingredient note), tough stems removed

  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add raisins, pine nuts, and garlic; cook about 30 seconds and stir frequently until fragrant. Add spinach and cook for about two minutes, stirring frequently until just wilted. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and salt. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper and serve immediately.

H/T: EatingWell.com

Other commonly known recipes such as chickpea salad, hummus, Mediterranean pasta with artichokes, olives and tomatoes can also be included in your diet when switching to a healthier Mediterranean lifestyle.There are plenty of Mediterranean recipes available, and most are easy to find and make!