Did you know that adhering to the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet can help promote a healthier digestive system? Well, it’s about time you did, especially since a healthy digestive system is a prerequisite to better health. Are you ready to learn more about this? Okay then, let’s get the ball rolling!
How does the Mediterranean Diet Promote Better Digestive Health?
In a nutshell, the Mediterranean diet can help maintain good digestive function since it strictly recommends eliminating food additives and processed foods in your diet. If you are to follow the dietary guidelines set by the Mediterranean diet, you need to eat foods that are good for your general well-being.
As such, you need to start developing a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables, unrefined grains and cereals, nuts and legumes, and olive oil since these food items will serve as the foundation of your diet. You also need to consume moderate amounts of fresh fish and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. You are allowed to eat eggs but you need to make sure that you limit your consumption to about four eggs per week. As for meat and meat products, well, you can still eat them but on a strictly limited basis. In addition, you can have one glass (for women) or two glasses (for men) of red wine each day to go with your meal.
Now, if you take a closer look at the foods that compose the revised Mediterranean diet pyramid, you will notice that majority of the foods recommended contain significant amounts of dietary fiber – and that’s exactly what makes this diet so good for your gut! By adhering to the Mediterranean way of eating, you can successfully prevent the symptoms associated with constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and colon cancer as well!
According to the results of a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Mediterranean diet can help prevent the development of colon cancer by hindering the formation of certain cancer-promoting proteins in the body. This effect is achieved since the Mediterranean diet recommends the consumption of foods that are rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats.
Additionally, foods rich in dietary fiber can also help keep your blood sugar within healthy ranges so you can protect yourself against type 2 diabetes and hypoglycaemia. Considering the number of people currently affected with such medical conditions, I can say that it is quite an attractive bonus, don’t you think so?
Drinking moderate amounts of red wine can greatly improve your digestive functions since it contains significant amounts of polyphenols, chemical compounds that promote the action and proliferation of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Yogurt traditionally contains significant amounts of probiotics, the gut-friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) most health-conscious individuals are raving about. Just make sure the yogurt you are buying contains live or active cultures and you’re good to go.
To help the good bacteria thrive in your digestive tract, you need to make sure that there is available food waiting for them in your intestine. And this is where probiotics come in. You can have enough probiotics in your gut by consuming ample amounts of onions, garlic and leeks. Asparagus, bananas, legumes, and sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes also contain significant amounts of probiotics so you may also want to add them to your Mediterranean diet.
Herbs and Spices
Aside from giving your Mediterranean dishes their unique flavor and aroma, herbs and spices such as ginger, caraway, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, mint and nutmeg can also help promote better digestive function, prevent or relieve gas and relax your stomach muscles.
If you are gluten-intolerant, then you may want to consider adding gluten-free grains such as quinoa to your diet. Quinoa makes a great addition to soups, salads and casseroles so you’ve definitely got to try it!
You can now see why the Mediterranean diet can be good for your gut and general well-being. So, if I were you, I would ensure a habit develops around these gut-friendly foods. You will definitely see and feel the difference!
Here’s to a healthier you,