How to follow a Mediterranean Style Diet:
The Mediterranean style diet involves incorporating the following foods:
Olive Oil: Olive Oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can eat. It contains a range of polyphenols and antioxidants, which are good at damping down inflammation, including in the brain, the breast and the gut.
Oily fish: such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a big part of the Mediterranean Style Diet. In the case of oily fish, one of the key ingredients is omega 3, which many of us don’t get enough of in our diet.
Different coloured vegetables such as dark leafy greens and bright-red and yellow peppers form an important part of the Mediterranean way of eating. The pigments in these are made up of hundreds of different bioactive compounds or phytonutrients. These will give your gut bacteria something to chew on, as well as giving you lots of healthy nutrients and essential vitamins.
Full fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are all included in the Mediterranean Style Diet. There’s good evidence that yogurt, with live active cultures, can help improve antibiotic-associated diarrhea, may lessen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and help reduce constipation. Studies have also shown that cheese that contains live bacteria can be good for your biome.
Eggs: Eggs have been rehabilitated as a healthy staple in the diet. They contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and high quality proteins and can improve your cholesterol & lipid profile. And if eating eggs stops you eating sugary breakfast cereal or having that muffin in the middle of the morning, then that is mission accomplished.
Nuts: These are great to cook with and also make the perfect fast food, giving an energy boost as they contain healthy slow burn oils, along with lots of lovely fibre to keep your gut happy and are a good source of protein.
Red wine: Studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation can reduce blood pressure, CRP (a measure of inflammation) and triglyceride levels (the amount of fat circulating in the blood). Red wine has also been shown to improve gut health by increasing the levels of healthy bacteria, including Bacteriodes and Bifido bacteria, types of bacteria associated with slimness and lowering cholesterol respectively.
The Mediterranean Style Diet also involves replacing processed foods where possible with fresh whole foods and eating relatively little of the starchy foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes as these tend to have increase weight and have a negative effect on our gut bacteria, reducing the diversity of our microbiome. Swapping these foods for lentils, beans, quinoa, whole grains, brown or wild rice and buckwheat will help improve your blood sugar levels and improve your biome. If you are interested in finding out more about the Mediterranean Style diet, visit The Fast 800.