Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet: Croatian Style

  • 3 Minutes Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Put your seatbelts on during this taste of Croatia tour and savor some of the unique aspects of this particular Mediterranean diet which includes pomegranates, lamb and fennel.

Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet:  Croatian Style

Mediterranean Diet - Let's not forget Croatia

When you think of the Mediterranean Diet, you probably dream of heart healthy extra virgin olive oil, fish, legumes, nuts, whole grains and fruits and vegetables from the countries of Italy, Spain, and Greece. However, let's not forget that the mesmerizing blue Mediterranean Sea touches not only these vacation destinations, but also the Balkan states of Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro. While recently visiting Dubrovnik, the southernmost city in Croatia, I learned that Croatians add their own twist to the Mediterranean Diet with many unique culinary delicacies to offer.

Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet: Croatian Style

Croatia has a mainland coast on the Adriatic Sea with over 1,000 miles in addition to over 1000 islands. This Mediterranean country not only emphasizes fish as part of the diet, but also pomegranates, lamb, and fennel.


Growing up in South Dakota, pomegranates were a unique red Christmas fruit which enhanced our snacks only in December. As a child, I enjoyed digging out the sweet bright red kernels with my tongue, being careful not to eat the bitter paper-thin white membrane that surrounded them. However, in Croatia, pomegranates ripen in the fall and are so inexpensive and plentiful that they are eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. In Croatia, we hiked to the luring beach through groves of trees clustered with red pomegranates. This reminded me of the bunches of red apples we picked on my brother's apple orchard in Minnesota in the fall.

Pomegranates, whether eaten as a fruit or consumed as juice, have received a lot of press recently as a "super food" because of their high antioxidant properties. However, there are many other nutritional benefits.

Nutritional benefits of pomegranates

Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Meal Planning & Diets->Mediterranean Style
Nov 18, 2019

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