Implementing the Med Diet - Part OneDo you think you eat enough plants in your diet? How many plants do you eat in a week? Not refined grains, but plants. You can cook them, boil, bake, microwave, roast them or even eat them raw. How many? Further, it's not just eating more volume of plants, it's diversity.
Mediterranean Diet and PlantsAdherence to the Mediterranean diet depends more on plants.
VegetablesFruits, Tree Nuts, SeedsLegumesWhole GrainsOlive oil
When it comes to plants, more is better. But not just in quantity of plants, but also diversity.
Think about this: there is no one plant that can provide all the micronutrients and macronutrients a person needs. We tell vegetarians to use several plant sources for complete proteins, the same is true for any nutrient.
Gut Bugs and PlantsYour gut contains a trillion bugs. There are more of them than of us. But what do they eat? It turns out, most of what they eat are the things we don't. Gut bugs eat plant parts. Without them eating those plant parts, we would be far worse off. Thus, the gut microbiome is an exciting research field.
Guts break down fiber to chemicals shown to:
Decrease the risk of colon cancerLower cholesterolDecrease blood sugar spikesDecrease depressionAllow absorption of polyphenols
Fiber is an Essential NutrientPlants provide vitamins, minerals, macro and micronutrients. A single source of plants cannot provide the nutrients a person requires, which has been the main reason we recommend a diversified diet. Fiber is also a nutrient, an essential nutrient, one that humans cannot make, but without it there is clearly an increase in disease. While those on the extreme of low-carb diets will disagree, the literature is unambiguous.
MythFiber supplements are not a substitute. Some are expensive, one selling for over $150 a month. But no supplement gives you the diversity of nutrients that you can get from your diet. Mother Nature gives you a better deal. So, eat your fiber, don't buy a supplement.
Now begin to chart your diversityToday's assignment is simple: begin to chart the diversity in your diet, so that you increase the sources of your plants. One of my favorite dieticians, Dr. Megan Rossie, suggests a person has 30 plant-based foods per week. Sound impossible? Let's try it using the Meditereanean Diet.
Why 30?It isn't that difficult to implement, but consider that you want to consume the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, and there is no one plant that does this. But many will.
Vegetables:One Mediterranean diet point is achieved by consuming 9 ounces of vegetables per day. Run through the list of vegetables that you can add to your diet in any given week.