12 Delectable Spanish Dishes With Eye-Opening Health Benefits


Nathaly Davila

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These Spanish dishes come with health benefits. Try them when you travel to the country or cook them at home.

When we think about countries with the healthiest diets, the answers are usually Japan or India. Although European countries aren't usually included on the list, Spain is a definitive exception. In fact, the nutritional value and health benefits of Spanish cuisine can pretty much outperform other European diets in these aspects.

How can Spanish cuisine outperform other countries in Europe as the country with the healthiest dishes? The secret is the mixture of culinary traditions from so many places. Spain's historical interactions with places in the Middle East and America eventually contributed to the use of healthy spices and ingredients like olive oil.

Hence, enjoying Spanish cuisine while traveling there is a must. Before heading to Spain, buy an eSIM España so you can get a reliable connection to locate the finest Spanish restaurants and diners. Alternatively, you can just make these delicacies at home.

Here are 12 mouth-watering Spanish dishes that will enrich your body and mind.

1. Gazpacho

People can probably be shocked to find out that one of the most refreshing dishes from Spain is a soup dish. Gazpacho is a cold soup that people around Spain eat a lot during summer. With this soup, Spanish people don't have to eat ice cream and have cold drinks anymore to keep themselves refreshed when it's scalding hot.

2. Ajoblanco

There doesn't seem to be any shortage of cold meals in Spain during summer. One such example is ajoblanco, a cold soup that is made from almonds and bread. Compared to gazpacho, ajoblanco is sweeter because you can eat it with fresh fruit to improve the taste.

3. Arroz a la Cubana 

Arroz a la Cubana is a Spanish dish that actually uses the name of a place that inspired the original dish. It's a rice dish that uses cooked bananas topped with fried eggs. Curiously, the dish itself is somehow unknown in Cuba, even though arroz a la Cubana is quite famous in Spain.

4. Paella

Nothing unites the Spanish communities better than a serving of paella. Made from rice, meat, and vegetables, paella has always been served in Valencia during gatherings like festivals and ceremonies. Not only does it taste heavenly, but it also contains plenty vitamins and minerals.

5. Escalivada

In case you're bored with your average salad dish, then escalivada can be a good alternative. Escalivada uses the vegetables commonly seen in Spanish cooking, like eggplants and tomatoes. The grilled vegetable dish is usually cooked with firewood, giving it a smoky feel.

6. Blue fishes

Countries with direct access to the seas usually have deep seafood culinary traditions. Much like Japan and Italy, Spanish cooking uses a lot of mackerel, sardines, and tuna. As a result, people from Spain have higher life expectancy because of nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

7. Esqueixada

Are you afraid of eating raw fish? Luckily, esqueixada can circumvent your fear of raw fish. Unlike ceviche, Spanish people marinate the salt cod before mixing it with tomatoes, onions, and olive oil. The decadent fish meat is completed with the nutritional value of olive oil and tomatoes.

8. Pisto manchego

Resembling the French ratatouille, pisto manchego is a dish from La Mancha and Extremadura. Cooks combine eggplants, green or red peppers, onions, tomatoes, and olive oil to make this vegetable stew. To add more nutritional value to pisto manchego, you can eat the stew with bread and fried egg.

9. Potajes

In the right hands, ordinary ingredients can become fantastic dishes. Potajes is proof of Spanish cooking's ability – they can make beans into delectable meals. Your stomach can feel full for a long time because of the beans' fiber and protein.

10. Red wine

In recent years, Spanish wines like Garnacha and Tempranillo have become healthier to drink. Because producers don't use chemicals anymore to preserve their products, Spanish red wines overall have become safer to consume. Still, be sure to drink them responsibly. 

11. Melón con jamón 

Eating fruits with meat is quite common, as Spanish cuisine can attest to. Melón con jamón is the perfect example of such a combination, which mixes honeydew melon and jamón ham. The mixture of sweet and salty tastes creates a dish worthy of using Spain's flagship ham product.

12. Quince cheese

Quince cheese is not a typical cheese. If anything, it's actually closer to being a fruit paste instead of cheese. Spanish people make this dish from quince fruit and sugar. It's a perfect dessert to clean your palate after a hearty meal.

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