Benefits Of A Mediterranean Diet Breakfast

Why A Mediterranean Diet Is Good For Your Gut Health

People from the Mediterranean regions in Europe are known to live longer and to age better than their American counterparts. Researchers believe a Mediterranean diet and its impact on the microbiome is a significant contributor to their longevity.

Aging and inflammation are linked to the changes in the gut microbiota. A recent study found a Mediterranean diet may improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation by altering the microbiome.

Researchers also found an increase in beneficial bacteria that acts as ‘keystones’ species. These microorganisms reduce the growth of microbes associated with fragility.

What is a keystone species? Keystone species are vital to the survival of a habitat. They maintain balance by controlling the growth of some organisms and protecting others.

Mediterranean Diet Macros

Macronutrients or ‘macros’ refer to the ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat found in a specific diet.

There is no single Mediterranean diet because the region has many different countries. Researchers estimate the average Mediterranean diet consists of 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 35% fat.

The ratio of macronutrients isn’t much different from the average American diet. Why is it considered healthier then?

One of the reasons is polyphenols, nutrients found in certain plant-based food. Polyphenols act as anti-inflammatory agents.

Additionally, a Mediterranean diet is high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s and low in saturated fats.

While macros may be similar to an American diet, a Mediterranean diet contains more beneficial micronutrients.

RELATED: Your Diet & Inflammation – The Connection You Can Control

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

A Mediterranean diet involves more than just food. It is as much a philosophy as it is a diet. 

Eating with loved ones, moderate exercise, and a low-stress lifestyle all contribute to health benefits.

There are, however, five main principles to consider on your next shopping trip:

1. Avoid added sugar, refined and processed foods

Avoid processed foods, like processed meat, microwave meals, and deep-fried foods. Look out for products that contain trans fats, artificial flavoring, and preservatives. 

Likewise, steer clear of refined grains, like white bread, and refined oils used for deep-frying (sunflower, canola, and soybean oil.)

Also, avoid added sugar, candy, soda, and sugary desserts.

2. Eat fresh, seasonal produce, and olive oil in abundance.

Stock up on fruits, especially blueberries, strawberries, and avocado. 

Include a variety of your favorite vegetables. Many Mediterranean recipes contain tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, sweet potato, onion, and cucumber.

Most of your energy will come from whole grains, like whole wheat, oats, barley, and brown rice.

It also includes legumes, such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils.

The Mediterranean diet contains lots of healthy fats. Olive (or avocado) oil is essential.

Nuts and seeds are great Mediterranean diet snacks and add lots of texture and flavor to food. Plus, they’re full of good fats and protein!

Plenty of fresh herbs and spices, like basil, mint, rosemary, and garlic, should be included in a Mediterranean diet shopping list.

3. Have moderate amounts of animal produce and seafood

The Mediterranean diet allows seafood and fish a couple of times a week. Salmon, oysters, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3s.

Eat a small amount of dairy a few times a week. Make sure to get unprocessed, natural cheese, and yogurt with live probiotics. And don’t forget feta cheese!

A moderate amount of poultry and eggs should also be enjoyed.

4. Drink lots of water and a little bit of wine

Is Your Gut Suffering? Take The Quiz NOW

Unsweetened coffee or tea is acceptable, but the drink of choice for the Mediterranean diet is water – and lots of it.

Enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, but avoid other alcohol.

5. Only have red meat occasionally

Eat red meat only if you can’t live without it or for special occasions.

10 Best Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes

A Mediterranean diet doesn’t exclude any major food groups, and there is a large variety of breakfast options to choose from. Whether you prefer oats, toast, or yogurt, start your day with a delicious Mediterranean breakfast.

Mediterranean Egg Cups

For a protein-packed breakfast bursting with flavor, you can’t go wrong with egg cups.

These egg cups also come loaded with mushrooms and bell peppers, topped with goat cheese and fresh basil.

You can be creative with this recipe and exchange the mushrooms and peppers for your favorite vegetable combination.

Caprese Avocado Toast

The classic flavor of caprese salad combined with avo and toast is delicious and filling. 

Avocado is full of good fats, loaded with vitamins and minerals and high in fiber. All of these are great for the bacteria in your gut. 

If you want to add even more goodness, top it with a poached egg or salmon.

White Beans With Greens And Poached Egg

Use a can of white beans stashed in your pantry or cook dried beans for a wholesome breakfast.

You can choose your favorite greens. Spinach, kale, and swiss chard all work well with this recipe

Leafy greens are rich in vitamin C which helps boosts immune function and aid in cell repair.

Mediterranean Breakfast Pita

Mix up your daily breakfast routine with whole grain pita, humus, and egg.  

Humus is good for your brain health because it contains vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap

Spinach and feta is a classic Mediterranean combination. Complete this breakfast wrap with some scrambled eggs and olives for a healthy iron-rich meal.

Savory Steel-Cut Oats

Oats have a subtle flavor on their own, which makes it easy to combine with almost anything.

Sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed greens, and feta cheese are just one of many flavor combinations to try.

Add a good drizzle of olive oil and some roasted pine nuts for a well balanced Mediterranean breakfast.

Mediterranean Breakfast Salad

Look forward to the mornings with a tasty salad. Lots of greens, avocado, tomato, and quinoa are all you really need.

Add a crumble of feta for a little more flavor.

Breakfast Grain Salad With Blueberries, Hazelnut And Lemon

Berries and hazelnuts may prevent heart disease, and oats help keep your blood sugar stable. And these are just a few benefits of this power-house breakfast!

Oats, quinoa, and millet form the foundation of this salad. Berries, lemon, and hazelnuts add depths and color.

Add some yogurt or honey to customize this recipe to your taste.

Berry Chia Overnight Oats

Berries and oats have known health benefits, but the star of this breakfast is chia seeds. 

These tiny seeds are packed with omega-3s, fiber, calcium, iron, and antioxidants. 

This overnight oats recipe is nutrient-dense and tastes excellent. 

Hearty Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is a delicious breakfast, but it won’t keep you full for long. Add some protein and fiber for a hearty breakfast to keep you going till lunch.

If you don’t have time to prepare grains for your salad, add a cup of gut-friendly natural yogurt and chopped walnuts to your salad to make it more filling.

Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply follow the five principles of a Mediterranean diet. All you need are a few foundation ingredients, and then you can experiment with the flavors of your choice!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here