The Mediterranean diet is renowned for being one of the healthiest diets around with research showing those who follow this diet are less likely to get heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

The emphasis on this healthy way of eating is down to vegetables, fruits, herbs wholegrains, legumes and healthy omega oils including olive oil. This makes it a great way of eating if you are vegan.

The all-important omega 3 fatty acids

Prioritising healthy omega oils in the diet is important for heart health, brain and skin. Obviously fish is consumption can provide the richest source of fatty acids but contamination of the water- ways continues to be a huge issue with many fish high in mercury. Sadly plastic pollution is another huge problem and contamination from agriculture and sewage. All of which end up making that healthy fish, not so healthy after all.

Luckily eating the right plant-based food will give you the all the healthy omega fats you need. The three main types of omega 3 are ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), EPA ( eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) ALA is found mostly in plants and your body converts ALA’s into the important DHA’s. To get what you need form plant sources it is best to consume plenty of foods such as flaxseeds (ground or soaked), chia seeds, walnuts and tofu. Good supplements are Chlorella, Spirulina and an algae omega 3 supplement see Rejuvenated aliol.

Getting the right protein

Eating healthy protein sources is actually pretty easy. Combine these protein sources with omegas and nutrient filled plants for perfect, healthy and delicious meals. Find protein sources in tofu, legumes, quinoa, nuts and seeds. Vitamin B12 is not present in plants but now so many vegan options such as spreads and plants-based milks are fortified with this that it is unlikely you will be deficient. Include Nutritional Yeast in recipes as this a very good source.

Including fibre

A Mediterranean diet is naturally high in fibre because wholegrains and a high content of fruit and vegetables offers this. Having both raw and cooked foods such as varied salads for lunch and steamed vegetables with dinner and incorporating a variety of grains such as whole wheat couscous, quinoa or bulgur wheat and flavouring them with fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil will offer a nutritious, high fibre basis for meals.

Fruit and vegetables

Make plants the star of the show and incorporate variety. Think about making a colourful plate with reds, greens and orange. The more vibrant and appetising the plate looks the more nutrients it is likely to have.

When pushed for time it’s best to resist a processed, ready prepared meal but just keep things simple with beans, rice, and a vegetable or sweet potato and a simple salad topping or maybe oven baked tofu with greens and a quick and easy cook grain like bulgur wheat or couscous.

A plant-based Mediterranean diet offers so many health benefits and there are some great recipes to be found. I recommend Yotam Ottelingi, Anna Jones and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall for inspiring great ways to create healthy, attractive and delicious meals with an emphasis on this eating plan.