The Mediterranean diet has long been lauded for its wide-ranging health benefits.
Dietitian Kirsten Jackson told Insider she follows the diet to boost her gut health.
Jackson shared six staples she always has in her kitchen, including olive oil and wholegrain carbs.
A registered dietitian who follows the Mediterranean diet, which is lauded for its wide-ranging health benefits, has shared what she always keeps stocked in her kitchen.
The diet is widely considered to be one of the healthiest ways to eat, thanks to its links with heart health and a lower risk of various diseases including Parkinson’s and diabetes.
It emphasizes vegetables, legumes, seafood, olive oil, and wine in moderation, and encourages minimal consumption of processed and fried foods, red meat, refined grains, added sugars, and saturated fats.
Registered dietitian Kirsten Jackson follows the Mediterranean diet because research suggests it reduces the risk of multiple health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and mental health conditions, she told Insider.
“As an IBS sufferer, the Mediterranean diet also provides me with the recommended 30 different sources of plants per week which I know will help me diversify my gut bacteria,” she said.
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t need to be strict though, and you can still enjoy other foods in moderation, Jackson said.
Jackson shared six foods she always keeps in her kitchen to help her eat Mediterranean-style.
1. Nuts and seeds
Jackson like to keep a mix of different nuts and seeds in a container, which she sprinkles on meals like salad and oatmeal.
“This provides a good source of healthy fats but also diversity which the gut microbiota love,” she said.
2. Wholegrain carbs
Whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, oats, and quinoa are staples in Jackson’s kitchen.
“They all cook really quickly and form an awesome base for your main meals,” she said.
Jackson eats a variety of vegetables because she’s signed up to a delivery service that sends her boxes of in-season vegetables or those that might have been thrown away.
Eating a wide variety of vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, lower a person’s blood pressure, and improve digestive issues, Insider’s Savanna Swain-Wilson previously reported.
4. Frozen fruit
Frozen fruit is cheaper than fresh, and it also contains more micro-nutrients as it’s frozen soon after picking, Jackson said.
5. Olive oil
Jackson keeps two types of olive oil in her kitchen:
High quality virgin olive oil: “It’s amazing for its antioxidants and making things like hummus or drizzling over bread,” she said.
Extra light olive oil for cooking, as it’s more stable, meaning it doesn’t release harmful compounds when heated.
6. Oily fish
“I always have tinned sardines in tomato sauce in the cupboard as it is super tasty and less costly than fresh fish,” Jackson said.
Read the original article on Insider