The Mediterranean diet has long been praised for its wide-ranging health benefits.
Dietitian Kirsten Jackson told Insider that she follows the diet to improve her gut health.
Jackson shared six staples she always has in her kitchen, including olive oil and whole-grain carbohydrates.
A registered dietitian who follows the Mediterranean diet, which is lauded for its wide-ranging health benefits, has shared what she always has in stock in her kitchen.
The diet is widely regarded as one of the healthiest ways to eat, thanks to its link to heart health and a lower risk of several 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 shows it reduces the risk of multiple health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and mental illness, she told Insider.
“As an IBS patient, the Mediterranean diet also provides me with the recommended 30 different sources of plants per week that I know will help me diversify my gut bacteria,” she said.
However, the Mediterranean diet doesn’t have to be strict, and you can still enjoy other foods in moderation, Jackson said.
Jackson shared six dishes she always keeps in her kitchen to help her Mediterranean-style eating.
1. Nuts and seeds
Jackson likes to keep a mix of different nuts and seeds in a container, which she sprinkles over meals like salad and oatmeal.
“This is a good source of healthy fats, but also diversity that the gut microbiota loves,” she said.
2. Whole grain carbohydrates
Whole-grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, oats, and quinoa are staples in Jackson’s cuisine.
“They all cook really quickly and make a great base for your main meals,” she said.
Jackson eats a variety of vegetables because she signed up with a delivery service that sends her boxes of seasonal vegetables or vegetables that may have been thrown out.
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 problems, Insider’s Savanna Swain-Wilson previously reported.
4. Frozen fruits
Frozen fruit is cheaper than fresh, and it also contains more micronutrients because it is frozen soon after picking, Jackson said.
5. Olive oil
Jackson has two types of olive oil in her kitchen:
High-quality virgin olive oil: “It’s great for its antioxidants and making things like hummus or drizzle over bread,” she said.
Extra light olive oil for cooking, because it is more stable, so no harmful substances are released when heated.
6. Fatty fish
“I always have canned sardines in tomato sauce on hand because it’s super tasty and cheaper than fresh fish,” Jackson said.
Read the original article on Insider