Side dishes sit alongside your main course to round out an amazing meal. They can bring health, variety, and color to your dining experience. We tend to prefer easy, tasty side dishes that can be on the table quickly so that you can get out of the kitchen and on to the table! Check out our side dish recipes below to find the perfect accompaniment to your main dish!
What makes vegetables healthy?
You are probably aware that a Mediterranean Diet is heavy on the vegetables. Truly, any long-term lifestyle that promotes optimal health will undoubtedly promote the consumption of plenty of vegetables (and fruit).
- Here are some top reasons why veggies deserve to be on your plate:
- Provide many important nutrients, including minerals such as iron and potassium, and the whole alphabet of vitamins that can help prevent chronic diseases
- Low in fat and calories while high in fiber, so they can help fill you up without filling you out
- No naturally-occurring cholesterol makes them heart-healthy, and a great choice for virtually anyone
- Have lots of fiber, which is important for proper bowel function and heart health
- Full of antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer and whole body inflammation
- Read more here
How you prepare vegetables is important. Olive oil and other healthy fats can make vegetables more palatable. Preparing vegetables in tons of butter or frying them with breading can take away some of the nutritive benefits. Our favorite styles of preparation include: grilling, roasting, sautéing, or crunching them raw with a lip-smacking dip or dressing.
What makes whole grains healthy?
Whole grains are part of a healthy diet, just like vegetables. Research shows that whole grains included as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases
- Here are some top reasons why the Mediterranean Diet includes whole grains:
- Fiber in grains is great for regulating bowel movements and heart health
- Grains contain minerals like selenium, iron, and magnesium which help maintain a healthy immune system
- B vitamins are contained in many whole grains, which directly impact energy levels and brain function
- For more information on healthy whole grains, check out our blog post
When selecting your grains, keep in mind that the Mediterranean Diet recommends eating whole grains. Choose 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain or look for grains in their natural state like quinoa, rice, or bulgur.
What makes fruit healthy?
Slices of raw fruit are a sweet addition as a side dish to your family’s table. Fruits are full of health benefits, require minimal preparation, and kid-friendly! The options are plentiful and add vibrant colors to your dinner table!
- Reasons why we encourage you to include fruit with your meals:
- Fruits are full of fiber, helping you maintain a healthy gut
- Vitamins and antioxidants in fruit can reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease
- Fruits are relatively lower in calories, while still tasting like a sweet treat, and can help you manage your weight
- More info here
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