I’m often asked what is the healthiest diet we can eat and my answer is consistently the Mediterranean diet. Why this diet?
It is perhaps one of the most widely studied diets featured in the scientific literature. But what I like most about the Mediterranean diet is that it’s not really a diet at all, it’s a way of life. And that means it’s highly sustainable and easy to follow.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the typical eating patterns of Mediterranean regions such as Greece and Italy.
The chief tenets of the Mediterranean diet include:
- Low to moderate consumption of red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy
- Low consumption of sweets containing concentrated sugars or honey
- Moderate consumption of red wine, pasta, bread, and grains
- Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, as well as health-promoting spices
- Extra-virgin olive oil as the principal source of fat
- Frequent consumption of seafood, as well as seasonal, locally grown fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds
This diet is high in fiber, healthy fats and health-promoting antioxidants and low in carbohydrates and inflammatory foods. Best of all, Mediterranean eating is not only good for you it’s great tasting as well.
Following this diet can help support a wide range of health systems including immunity, bone, brain, and heart to name a few. Emerging research is also showing that the Mediterranean diet can help balance the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is especially significant because the ECS helps regulate a wide range of processes inside the body including the nervous system, digestion, liver, blood vessels, inflammation, hormonal activity, and more.
The ECS keeps us healthy on a very deep cellular level. This 600-million-year-old healing system is our internal master conductor as it sends chemical messages that trigger biological actions throughout the body. The outcome of this delicate and complex balancing act is to create homeostasis, which is the internal drive within every cell to function optimally and be healthy in the face of external challenges.