Mediterranean Diet Lunches that Can Help Reduce Inflammation

By Dickson Osas

Introduction

The body’s complex biochemical response to infection and injury is inflammation.

Viruses and illnesses are neutralized by our immune defense system by first generating substances that cause inflammation and eliminate the threats.

Inflammation-resolving molecules are then triggered to eliminate the damaged tissue components, allowing the body to begin healing.

A prolonged (or chronic) low-grade inflammation arises when the immune system is continuously stimulated in response to threats and is not allowed to recover correctly.

The Mediterranean diet recipes are inspired by the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy, and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet is the name given to this way of eating.

The diet is primarily composed of foods that come from plants as opposed to those that come from animals. These foods include whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. The majority of the additional fat comes from olive oil.

List of Mediterranean diet lunch ideas

1. Falafel kale salad with tahini dressing

Falafel kale
Photo by Louis Hansel

Homemade falafel sounds like a daunting all-day endeavor. However, you only need ten minutes to make these vegan fellas from scratch.

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, onion, and garlic, and then stir in the cilantro, parsley, cumin, and coriander, along with the crushed red pepper flakes.

After you have finished frying your falafel, you can assemble your base salad, consisting of kale marinated in lemon juice, red onion, white beans, and jalapenos.

2. Lemony orzo salad

Lemony orzo salad
Image by Vural Yavaş

This rice-shaped pasta reigns supreme in the realm of meals that can be taken on the go. You’ve probably consumed more than your fair share at summer picnics, so why not prepare it for weekday lunches?

You are free to reduce the number of ingredients in this dish as you see fit; however, it already includes fresh cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, basil, mint, spinach, and feta. So it’s already pretty close to being perfect.

3. Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken

Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken
Image by Gundula Vogel

These healthy cauliflower rice bowls inspired by Greek cuisine and topped with feta, olives, vegetables, and grilled chicken are impressive but require only 30 minutes to prepare.

4. Baked Falafel Sandwiches

Baked Falafel Sandwiches
Photo by Ryan Concepcion

This falafel sandwich is herbaceous, tangy, and plentiful. In the oven, the falafel becomes crisp, while the vegetables inside keep the dish simple and crisp. Make the tahini sauce ahead of time for easy preparation. Wrapping the sandwich in aluminum foil makes it an ideal portable lunch and helps maintain its integrity for consumption on the go.

5. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa
Photo by Roosa Kulju

This quinoa salad with Mediterranean flavors loaded with fresh vegetables marinated in a bright and mint dressing. It’s a simple recipe for vegetarian dinner that can also be prepared in advance and eaten as a nutritious option for lunch.

6. Chickpea Tuna Salad

Chickpea Tuna Salad
Image by Eak K.

This chickpea tuna salad with capers, feta, and cucumber is the perfect lunch to pack for work or school, whether you plan to eat it there or bring it with you. You can prepare the salad the evening before serving it. 

7. Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Chickpea Quinoa Bowl,salad
Photo by Shashi Chaturvedula

This vegetarian grain bowl is loaded with a generous amount of protein derived from plants, thanks to the inclusion of quinoa and chickpeas. Prepare a large batch of these Mediterranean dishes, place them in containers with lids, and store them in the refrigerator. Then, throughout the week, you will have quick, healthy lunches that are easy to grab and go.

Frequently Asked Question

Is oatmeal permitted on the Mediterranean diet?

Oatmeal is a safe option for breakfast and can be prepared to make it more appealing. To improve the flavor of plain oatmeal, experiment with different nuts and fruits. For example, make it with honey, diced apples, and chopped walnuts.

Is peanut butter permitted on the Mediterranean diet?

Peanuts and peanut butter, as plant-based protein sources high in excellent and unsaturated fats, are a natural fit within Mediterranean and Flexitarian diets.

What foods are not permitted in the Mediterranean diet?

The following foods are avoided by those following a Mediterranean diet:

● Refined grains include the flour used to make white bread, pasta, and pizza dough, all of which are white.

● Margarine and other processed foods are familiar sources of unhealthy fats known as trans fats.

● Those foods are high in sugar, like pies, sodas, and candies.

Can sandwiches be consumed on the Mediterranean diet?

Choose a tuna sandwich made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a simple lunch inspired by the Mediterranean.

Conclusion

The Mediterranean diet is a style of life that involves consuming a variety of foods from the Mediterranean region, to put it in the most basic terms possible, based on the traditional foods and eating patterns of the people and countries located around the Mediterranean Sea.

If you are interested in trying some new Mediterranean recipes or transitioning to a Mediterranean diet, then you have arrived at the appropriate place. So we hope you will have enough information about the Mediterranean diet ideas.