A new study nearing completion theorizes that the Mediterranean Diet might be beneficial for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The Mediterranean Diet, rich in healthy fats and vegetables, has long been touted as beneficial in patients with heart disease. This new study could indicate whether those anti-inflammatory properties also apply to IBD.
The Mediterranean Diet gets its name from the countries around the Mediterranean Sea who eat foods in this manner. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts, beans, legumes, low fat dairy, herbs and spices. Meats, sweets and wine are allowed but only in small amounts.
As a nutritionist I believe that this is a lifestyle change that would benefit most people. The healthy fats in this plan are essential to reduce inflammation. An emphasis on fruits and vegetables nourishes the body with vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients that protect and heal cells in the body. Whole grains, nuts and legumes add much needed fiber to the diet and cultured low fat dairy adds the benefit of probiotics.
Whether this study is conclusive or not this lifestyle might be worth looking into for anyone who wants to be healthier. The Mediterranean Pyramid makes it simple to understand and is an excellent place to start.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.