While there are so many different diets that we investigated for gut and hormone healing, one stands out more than others. And that is the Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean Diet is based on the diverse eating habits of the people living around the Mediterranean Sea like the countries of Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Turkey, Middle Eastern and Northern African countries.
The diet is based on mostly fresh, whole foods including:
- -Veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, herbs, and spices
- -Seafood, dairy, and poultry in moderation
- -Olive oil is used predominantly
- -Red wine is used in moderation
- -Red meats are used rarely but allowed in small quantities
- -No processed foods, sugars and artificial foods
While many would accept the fact that the scientists found this diet to be superior and would jump into eating what they think is the Mediterranean Diet, it is easy to make mistakes.
For example, seeing diary as allowed foods, you can easily jump into eating unhealthy sugary yogurts, processed and ultra-pasteurized/homogenized milk and other forms of heavily processed dairy. It’s not that same as eating unsweetened, non-homogenized homemade goat’s yogurt and only if you know there’s no intolerance to lactose and casein.
Many think skipping beans while staying on this diet is Ok. It’s not. Beans are a wonderful source of fiber and natural prebiotics. And they are a very important part of why this diet is so effective.
Many think that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is Ok to even cook with. Nope, it’s best to make sure it doesn’t reach 300 degrees while cooking, so if you know how to achieve that while cooking, that’s great but if you can’t, I usually recommend other oils for cooking like grapeseed or avocado oil.
Many think that seafood eaten once or twice a week is Ok. No, regular consumption of wild-caught seafood is what brings great results and it’s important not to skip this part.
Many think it’s Ok to follow this diet and occasionally grab processed food or heavily processed baked goods. That’s not what this diet is about. Not Ok.
And drinking red wine every day in large quantities is a mistake, too. Some wine is Ok, while too much will mess with blood sugar and hormones. Stay with great quality red wines, best without added sulfites and make sure you don’t overdo it.
Top Supplements that Compliment the Mediterranean Diet:
- -Omega 3 with Vit K1 and K2
- -Vitamin D 3
- -And possibly adding curcumin and CoQ10 if your healthcare practitioner finds it necessary.
Many chronic digestive patients struggle to find the right kind of diet and get turned off when they hear Mediterranean Diet, it’s mistakenly associated with eating only pizza and pasta. Although some people from the Mediterranean are known to eat pizza and pasta, that’s not what this diet is all about.
Think of your breakfast plate filled with olives, salmon and greens. Your lunch would have lentil soup or a large salad with some organic chicken with a side of a baked purple potato. And your dinner is a full plate of cruciferous veggies sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with small chunks of lamb.
If you are a vegan there are some modifications, of course, and that would include you eating more beans and legumes instead of the meat or fish. But the benefits of the diet will most likely not be the same but there’s not enough information on it yet.
In my anti-inflammatory diet recommendations, I work with each client individually. Each client has his or her own nutritional needs, wellness goals and it also very much depends on what point we start the program. I’ve seen so many people improve, reverse their chronic digestive problems, calm down their IBD and even get pregnant with functional nutrition and functional medicine. There’s so much more information and more options for you than ever before. And functional medicine works!