Eating Mediterranean-style is beneficial as it has been associated with improved heart health, a decreased risk of many diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes, and reduced risks of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and mental health issues.
This popular dietary plan emphasizes vegetables, fatty fish, complex carbohydrates, and allows for moderate wine consumption. Its many health benefits have been recognized for a long time.
A Registered Dietitian, who follows the Mediterranean diet – which is praised for its countless health benefits – has divulged what she always keeps in her kitchen. This dietary pattern is widely accepted as one of the most beneficial eating habits due to its association with improved heart health and a decreased risk of many diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods such as vegetables, legumes and seafood; as well as oils like olive oil and limited amounts of wine. It is designed to limit or avoid consumption of processed, fried and red meats; refined grains; added sugar; and saturated fat.
Kirsten Jackson, a Registered Dietitian who follows the Mediterranean diet, told Insider that research suggests it reduces the risk of several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and mental health issues.
As someone with IBS, the Mediterranean diet provides me with the recommended 30 plant sources per week that diversifies my gut bacteria, according to Jackson. She also emphasized that this doesn’t need to be a strict diet, and other foods can still be enjoyed in moderation. To help her eat Mediterranean-style, Jackson shared six of her go-to foods that she always keeps in her kitchen.
Nuts and Seeds
Jackson likes to keep a variety of nuts and seeds in a container, which she adds to dishes like salads and oatmeal. According to her, this provides a good source of healthy fats and diversity that are beneficial for the gut microbiota.
Jackson stocks her kitchen with an array of whole grain carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, oats, and quinoa. She finds them quick to cook and the perfect foundation for meals. “They form an awesome base for your main meals,” she said.
Jackson eats a diverse selection of vegetables thanks to her subscription to a delivery service that sends her boxes full of fresh and seasonal produce, as well as items that would otherwise be discarded. Eating these different types of vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, lower blood pressure, and improve digestive health. As Savanna Swain-Wilson from Inside, adding a variety of vegetables to one’s diet is beneficial.
Frozen fruit is more cost-effective than fresh produce, and it also provides more micro-nutrients due to its being frozen shortly after harvesting, according to Jackson.
Jackson has two types of olive oil in her kitchen: high quality virgin olive oil and extra light olive oil. She uses the virgin variety for its antioxidants, to make hummus, or for drizzling over bread. The extra light variety is used for cooking as it is more stable and does not release harmful compounds when heated.
Jackson mentioned that he always keeps tinned sardines in tomato sauce in the cupboard as they are tasty and more affordable than buying fresh fish.