Allergic Asthma and other types of allergies are extremely difficult to deal with. A lot of people from all ages can easily suffer from these types of diseases, but not all of them can cope with it. Surely, you have tried various ways to deal with it – drinking antihistamines, purifying your indoor air, or generally protecting your nose in every way possible. Then again, there is a more palatable route in dealing with this condition.
And one of the most delicious ways to choose when dealing with allergies and asthma is going Mediterranean.
Mediterranean Diet: How it helps Allergies and Asthma
Many adults and children suffer from allergies and asthma. Their lungs are constantly bombarded by foreign bodies, or allergens, in the air. When these allergens – such as pollen and dust – enter the body, the immune system believes they are harmful. In an effort to protect itself, the body sends out antibodies to fight off these foreign materials.
Studies and researches have confirmed it: going Mediterranean in your diet helps children and adults cope with asthma. The survey of nearly 700 children living on the Greek island of Crete has showed that a high intake of nuts, grapes, tomatoes and oranges have been linked with a 50-80% lower risk of wheezing in 7 to 18 year olds.
Also, in hospitals and medical schools in Helsinki, Finland and Porto, Portugal, researchers have obtained information about the relationship of diet and asthma control in a group of individuals who had been previously diagnosed with asthma. Basing from past studies, these researches have aimed to enhance the knowledge that they had regarding the effects of Mediterranean diet to asthma.
What researchers found was really striking: only 25% of the participants had well-controlled asthma, and they were the same participants who closely followed a Mediterranean-diet food plan.
Since asthma is a form of allergy, allergic asthma specifically, and is commonly triggered by allergic reactions to pollen, mold, dust, or spores, experts have had their medical curiosity stirred. This has led into various studies on how Mediterranean diet is able to deal with allergies in general.
Surely, the best air purifier for allergies can easily help. Then again, when it comes to allergies such as allergic asthma, a more directed change in one’s diet can help combat the condition. Hence, going Mediterranean may be one of the easiest and most delectable ways to go.
The Mediterranean diet is chock full of healthy foods like grapes, tomatoes, and nuts. According to scientists, these foods provide the most benefits based on their antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are known for their disease-fighting ability. They work to sop-up free radicals left in the body as a byproduct of a cell’s day-to-day functions.
So, if you’re looking for the easiest and tastiest Mediterranean recipes out there, here’s where you can start out:
Creamy and Leafy Shrimp Garlic Pasta
This fresh, light, and delicious – not to mention really easy – dish can send you on a Mediterranean trip right in your kitchen, all the while aiding those allergic defenses. Here’s how to make creamy garlic pasta with shrimp and vegetables.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
- 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (preferably cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.
- Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas, and cook until the pasta is tender, and the shrimps are cooked (approximately 2 to 4 more minutes on the stove). Drain well and set aside.
- Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper.
- Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant. Do this for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve with the toasted pine nuts on sprinkled evenly on top.
Turkey and Tomato Panini
These Paninis are one of the most common snacks in a Mediterranean diet, and it can easily be prepared in less than half an hour. A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up the turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pepper to taste
- 8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
- 8 tomato slices
- 8 slices whole-wheat bread
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
Preparation:Have four medium skillets ready for cooking by the stove.
- Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl.
- Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread.
- Place the deli turkey and tomato slices and top it with another bread slice. Do this on 3 more pairs of bread slices.
- Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Place 2 panini in the pan.
- Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down. Cook the panini until golden on one side (about 2 minutes on the skillet).
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet, and set until the second side is golden (about 1-3 minutes on the skillet).
- Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.
Mediterranean Breaded Salmon
Here’s a big meal for the family, prepared in just about an hour. You can indulge in a very nutritious breaded salmon dish served with a lot of healthy vegetables. Mediterranean style!
- 1 box (9 oz) frozen baby lima beans
- 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into fourths lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 ¼ lb salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line the 15x10x1/2-inch pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- Place lima beans and eggplant in pan. If beans are frozen in solid block, microwave on high setting for about 1 minute or just long enough to break beans apart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and toss. Spread in single layer in pan, and Bake for 15 minutes.
- Mix bread crumbs, lemon peel, oregano leaves, garlic and olive oil in a bowl. This would serve as salmon topping.
- Remove pan from oven. Push vegetables to sides of pan, and place salmon skin side down in center. Brush salmon with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables in single layer around salmon.
- Gently press half of mixture, or about 1/2 cup, evenly on salmon. Sprinkle remaining topping over the vegetables.
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, and vegetables are crisp-tender. (If fish browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.)
- Spoon beans and eggplant into large heatproof bowl. Toss vegetables with roasted peppers and spinach. Cover the mixture with foil, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted.
- Cut and prepare the salmon into 4 servings. Carefully lift fish from skin with pancake turner to serving plate. Serve salmon with vegetables.