21 DAY Mediterranean Diet Challenge DAY# 15

*For those who are new here, please note that you can click here and check the previous days. Also, this challenge is not a strict diet plan but a series of mini-challenges to establish healthy Mediterranean diet habits. I do include links and suggestions for recipes, if you want a menu plan you can go here for a 5-day mix and match plan. For a longer comprehensive 14-day plan along with 100 recipes you can consider my new book.

Welcome  to Day 15 and  Happy Monday!!

Today it’s all about immunity. We all want a strong immune system, especially now! Our immune system is influenced by many factors, including food. Research shows that a single nutrient is not what makes our body stronger, but a combination of nutrients and eating patterns. The Mediterranean diet in its entirety offers the ideal combination for building a strong immune system. Let’s see some of the nutrients and foods that are involved.

Immune Boosting Foods and Nutrients

Vitamin C
 Known as a vitamin but also as an antioxidant, there is evidence that it can help the immune system when under stress. In the Mediterranean diet, citrus fruit are typically consumed in the winter months and are a main source of antioxidants.
Sources: citrus fruit (including lemon), peppers, tomatoes, potatoes cauliflower.

Zinc is a mineral that plays a role in the production of immune cells. A deficiency of zinc will affect your immune system.
Sources: beans (garbanzo, split-pea, lentils, peas), nuts, tahini, eggs

Studies have shown that probiotics have a beneficial effect on the immune system.
Sources: yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread, olives (not cured with lye).

Phytochemicals and compounds in onions and garlic
Both of these contain compounds and phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial properties.

It is a substance found in cruciferous vegetables and has inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
Sources: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts

Vitamin D
Provides protection from getting sick in the first place but also reducing the severity of infection. Research has shown that individuals with low vitamin D levels may be more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections.
Sources: eggs, fatty fish, mushrooms

Today’s Challenge: Have an immune boosting meal

In addition to that, have a meatless Monday and consume 2 herbal teas. Below I have included a menu rich in immune boosting nutrients that is also meatless.

One-Day Mediterranean Immune Boosting Menu

Breakfast: ½ cup yogurt sprinkled  with sunflower  seeds or other nuts + 1  tsp honey and 2 mandarins or 1 orange

Lunch: Greek Chickpeas and Rice with Lemon and Tahini *+ Winter Cabbage and Carrot Salad*

Dinner: Greek Omelet with Feta Cheese and Fresh Mint* + leftover cabbage salad or  leafy  green salad or cooked greens. You may accompany with a slice of whole grain bread.

Snack: carrots and red bell pepper sticks with Lentil Dip with Tahini and Lemon*.

*Click on the green links for recipe

*If you like please share your accomplishments, suggestions, tips, experiences on the site in the comments or on social media , I’ll be using the hashtag #21daymeddiet. You can find me at @greekdiet on instagram and at on facebook.

Looking forward to connecting with you. If you have questions or concerns please let me know!

Yia sas!


See you tomorrow!

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  • Reply Pat January 19, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    I have type 2 dietbetes.what’s the best diet for me.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 2, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Pat, The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to be effective for diabetes.

  • Reply Jennifer January 19, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Keto but you take recipes from the Mediterranean diet and Low carb diets.

  • Reply Cheryl January 20, 2021 at 5:11 am

    I have read that tomatoes are not good for rheumatoid arthritis. Is there a substitute for tomatoes in the Mediterranean diet recipes?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 20, 2021 at 5:49 am

      Hi Cheryl,
      There is no scientific evidence that shows that tomatoes are not good for rheumatoid arthritis. However you could omit the tomatoes in some of the cooked dishes or use a small amount of tomato paste.

  • Reply Ellen Schwartz February 8, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    My arthritis acts up if I eat and cook with fresh tomatoes. If the skin and seeds are removed, I do better. I do not have a flare up if I used diced, canned tomatoes. That’s what I put in all my hot recipes requiring fresh tomatoes.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 9, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      That’s good, at least you can enjoy the cooked tomato dishes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Marie Harsh February 24, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Is there a Mediterranean meal home delivery service? I have not been able to find one. That would be so amazing and helpful to have.

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