The gut is sometimes called the second brain. It contains about 100 million neurons, which is more than in the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system. How we feel depends heavily on the state of our digestion, so it’s important that what we eat supports a healthy gut.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods. Think fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and high-quality fats from unprocessed olive oil and fatty fish. It’s undoubtedly a healthy diet, but how does it affect the gut?
INSIDER consulted with doctors and nutritionists to find out what impact the Mediterranean diet might have on digestion.
Sticking to the Mediterranean diet might improve digestion
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating plenty of plant-based sources of protein like nuts and legumes rather than red meats. Making this switch may quell digestive upset.
“Red meat is rich in iron and protein, but it is the hardest protein to digest. Going for easier proteins like fish and legumes will actually improve your digestion and make you feel great and less bloated after each meal,” Dina Merhbi, clinical dietitian, told INSIDER.
The Mediterranean diet could help with constipation
If constipation is a digestive issue that you struggle with, there’s a good chance that switching to the Mediterranean diet could help.