The Mediterranean Diet Meets The L.A Lifestyle – Office Catering

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When your mind is focused on work, most people tend to forget how their diet affects them overall. Nutritionists suggest that the cuisine inspired by the Mediterranean sea may have more health benefits than you think. In this article, we will discover the secrets of the Mediterranean diet and learn why these cultural dishes are perfect for office catering.  

Living In A Food Desert

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Los Angeles has been dubbed the “fast food capital of the world” so it is no surprise that healthy food options are sometimes unavailable.  A “food desert” is an area where it is difficult to get healthy food. The journal Preventing Chronic Disease, did a study of Los Angeles residents and reported that those who live within a 3-mile radius of a fast food restaurant often exhibit unhealthy eating habits. According to the study, people purchase their food based on availability, cultural acceptance, affordability and personal choice.

What will you serve at your next employee meeting?

Naturally, most people can not work on an empty stomach. Subsequently, some employers are providing snacks and meals for their workers to ensure a job well done. Company lunches have considerably become more popular over the years as it ensures focus and maximizes an employee’s work threshold. Although a reported 66% of surveyed companies provide some type of food for their workers, 88% of those employees are craving healthier options.

Some of the perks of enjoying company meals include:

Building Unity. Sharing meals with co-workers form deeper relationships. You spend most of your time working with these people, why not get to know them a little better?

In Office Work. 71% of employees spend at least 20 minutes of their day foraging for food. Why not keep them in the office? When great food is readily available, employees will get more work accomplished with more time to succeed.

Happy Workers. Let’s face it – good food makes people happy. When you delight your co-workers with a great meal they are more likely to stay loyal and regard the company favorably.

Southern California’s Cultural Food Trends in 2018

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Los Angeles is stuffed with over 3,000,000 people who reign from over 120 countries. The mashup of culture in a city known for its large population gives the civilians ample opportunities for new and exotic culinary experiences.

Ethnic enclaves such as Little Armenia and Tehrangeles have modernized the Mediterranean diet through the use of food trucks and pop-up stands. These mobilized restaurants work perfectly with the versatility of Mediterranean diet dishes such as pizza and falafel while offering a much-needed delight for the busy local.

Due to the strong ethnic presence in the community, 2018 is sure to see an increase in the popularity of the Mediterranean diet – especially when it comes to office catering. 

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is heavily influenced by the consumables found surrounding the Mediterranean sea and enjoyed by the encompassing countries: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia.

The Mediterranean diet primarily concentrates on vegetables, nuts, fruits, olive oil and a collection of grains and ears of wheat. Lighter livestock such as poultry and seafood are usually preferred over heavier meats such as pork and steak– though these farm animals are commonly used to flavor sauces and broths.

Mediterranean Flavors By Region

Mediterranean starters

Countries infamous for their imaginative spin on Mediterranean dishes include Morocco, southern Italy, Greece and –of course–  Spain. The difference in cooking styles vary by region and showcase a different admiration of the flavorful Mediterranean diet.

In the Mediterranean diet, common dishes such as meatballs, for instance, have a completely different palatableness in Italy than they do in Greece.

Below is a list of common flavor themes associated with each country.

Spain. Spanish cooking is often adaptations of Roman and Arabic menus. With strong olive and garlic tastes, these spicy dishes often incorporate seafood with sweet and savory combinations.    

Southern Italy. Italians are notorious for their heavy tomato flavors and savory spices.

Greece. Greek food can range from citrusy to mellow with soft and creamy essences.

Morocco. For explosive flavors, Moroccan chefs have pit sweet and savory against one another for a zesty clash of powerful tastes. Though little spice is added, the vigorous aroma is powerful, but not hot.   

Common Ingredients For Mediterranean Recipes

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Mouths worldwide water when Mediterranean dishes such as creamy sun-dried tomato hummus, stuffed grape leaves, or succulent lamb kebabs are mentioned. Distinguished palates appreciate the robust flavors of the Mediterranean sea as well as the fresh produce from the surrounding areas.

Famous dishes such as sweet knafeh, grilled eggplant burgers, and salty tapenade would not pack their potent punch without considering the following ingredients:

  • feta
  • yogurt
  • grape leaves
  • olives
  • sesame
  • couscous
  • thyme
  • cumin
  • cinnamon
  • oregano
  • sumac
  • chickpeas 

Health Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil has been a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes due to its high concentration of essential fats and vitamins. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids provide necessary nutrients needed to absorb A, D, E, and K vitamins.

olive oilOlive oil has also been known to lower mental fatigue, moderate stress levels and influence weight management. Monounsaturated fats have been linked to brain health and reduce the possibility of heart disease. Endorsed by the FDA, many health experts believe that the reduction of stress is only a fraction of the oil’s robust capabilities.

In fact, L. Aldo Ferrara, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at the Frederico II University of Naples suggest, “The most important finding in this study is that the daily use of olive oil, about 40 grams per day, markedly reduces the dosage of blood pressure medication by about 50% in hypertensive patients on a previously stable drug dosage.”

Listed below are a few ways extra virgin olive oil can affect certain parts of the body:

Heart. High blood pressure and cholesterol is a prevailing issue among many communities. Some research encourages the daily consumption of at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. By regularly adding olive oil to their diets, a majority of men and women have seen a reduction in the risk of blood-related diseases such as type II diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.   

Brain. Olive oil can be used to tame the signs of aging through providing polyphenols and other healthy antioxidants to cognitive areas. The thick liquid replenishes healthy fat to the brain which reduces depression and lowers the risk of a stroke by 41 percent.

Skin. When ingested, the high level of antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil protects the skin from the harsh rays of the sun, and thereby reducing the risks of malignant melanoma or skin cancer.

Bones. With the help of olive oil, calcium is absorbed into the bones which promotes bone density and fights osteoporosis.                      

When you live in Los Angeles, your health could be the last thing on your mind. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fast meal that is both delicious and nutritious! Spice up your office catering with imaginative delights from the Mediterranean diet!