Cuisines of the world – inspirations for healthy meals from different countries


Vacation travels may be a source of stress because they are associated with maintaining a healthy diet. However, you should not stress about them - with proper planning of meals during the trip, following the diet turns out to be simple. In addition, trips can be a source of culinary inspiration and an opportunity to learn about healthy meals from different countries.

Mediterranean cuisine

The term “Mediterranean diet” appeared in the medical literature after research carried out in the 1950s. They confirmed that following the “Mediterranean diet” recommendations has a beneficial effect on our health. For instance, less frequent occurrence of cardiovascular diseases has been observed. Until today, the “Mediterranean diet” is considered one of the healthiest diets by dietary experts. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a document encouraging people to follow this cuisine. Therefore, if we travel to the Mediterranean regions, it is worth paying attention to the products typical for it.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a product rich in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols. Therefore, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its regular consumption is recommended in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Use olive oil  to prepare:

  • vegetable salads,
  • homemade vegetable and/or legume spreads,
  • marinades for meat/fish dishes,
  • homemade sauces.


Ważną rolę w diecie śródziemnomorskiej odgrywają odpowiednio dobrane przyprawy, które są również źródłem cennych składników. 

  • Bazylia – zwiększa wydzielanie enzymów trawiennych, działa rozkurczowo i przeciwzapalnie. Można przygotować z niej domowe pesto z bazylii (z dodatkiem oliwy z oliwek i orzechów). Dobrze komponuje się z daniami warzywnymi oraz mięsem drobiowym. Sprawdza się również jako składnik fit deserów i koktajli. W upalny dzień orzeźwienie może przynieść koktajl truskawkowy z dodatkiem listków świeżej bazylii.
  • Tymianek – zawiera składniki, które wspomagają leczenie infekcji górnych dróg oddechowych. Można dodać go, np. do dań na bazie nasion roślin strączkowych, które są ważnym elementem diety śródziemnomorskiej.
  •  Rozmaryn – posiada właściwości antybakteryjne oraz przeciwgrzybicze. Dobrze komponuje się z rybami, a także ziemniakami.

Properly selected spices also play an essential part in Mediterranean cuisine, as they are a source of valuable ingredients.

  • Basil – increases the secretion of digestive enzymes, has diastolic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can prepare homemade basil pesto (with olive oil and nuts). It goes well with vegetable dishes and poultry. It also works well as a healthy ingredient in desserts and cocktails. On a hot day, a strawberry cocktail with fresh basil leaves can bring refreshment.
  • Thyme – contains ingredients that support the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. You can add it, for example, to dishes based on legumes, which are an important part of the Mediterranean diet.
  • Rosemary – has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It goes well with fish as well as potatoes.

Legume seeds

Legume seeds enrich the menu with dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, vegetable protein, and polyphenols. Therefore, they occupy an important place in the Mediterranean diet.

Ideas for healthy meals based on legume seeds:

  • vegetarian “bean lard”,
  • chickpea and avocado paste,
  • chickpea and cranberry pate,
  • fit red bean brownie.

When traveling to the Mediterranean countries, it is also worth paying attention to dishes based on other valuable products: fatty sea fish, fermented milk products, seeds, nuts, and whole-grain cereal products.

Inspirations from Asian countries

It is not without reason that the inhabitants of Asian countries live to a ripe old age. One of the reasons for longevity is a healthy diet rich in fish, vegetables, pulses, spices, and low-processed foods. When looking for culinary inspiration in Asia, it is worth paying attention to:

  • fermented soy products (e.g., tofu, miso, tempeh),
  • algae (they are low in calories and at the same time rich in dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, vitamins K and D),
  • fish (especially oily sea fish),
  • sesame (contains large amounts of calcium, unsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants),
  • ginger (has anti-inflammatory properties),
  • garlic (called a natural antibiotic),
  • vegetables and fruit typical of Asian cuisine (including pak choi, eggplant, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, lychee).

Aromatic spices also deserve attention. One of them is turmeric, cardamom, cumin, lemongrass, chili. Remember, however, well-seasoned dishes do not serve everyone well, so it is worth using spices (especially hot) with caution.

Healthy fish-based meals

Not all of us like to eat fish. If you are also not one of the supporters of this group of products, it is worth using the travel time to get acquainted with interesting fish dishes. Perhaps inspirations from different parts of the world (Spain, Scandinavian countries) will convince us to eat fish. These are products that enrich our menu with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin D, and protein.

Ideas for healthy meals using fish:

  • salmon baked with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and thyme or with tomatoes and green asparagus;
  • mackerel fish paste with the addition of cucumber and chives;
  • salmon and avocado salad;


There is a saying that travel broadens the mind. It is undoubtedly true because we can develop language skills or learn about the culture of other countries. Holiday trips can also be a source of knowledge of healthy products that are characteristic of given places.

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