Τhe Mediterranean diet is probably a diet you’ve heard of before but don’t know much about. If anything, you’ve chalked it up to one of the other million dieting trends and fads that you hear of. So the idea of THIS diet actually aiding in weight loss is just another fad to you… nothing special, right? Well, the thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it not only aids in weight loss but it’s actually just a diet plan that promotes overall health… so you don’t even have to look at it as a diet, per say… history and science back up this logic.
If you didn’t know, the Mediterranean diet dates back as early as the 1960s. It was during that time that researchers came to the realization that diseases like heart disease weren’t as prevalent in Mediterranean countries as they were in parts of Northern Europe. The conclusion the researchers came to was that the foods and cooking methods used by the cultures of the Mediterranean were just healthier and drastically reduced the risk of heart disease.
The overall health aspect of the Mediterranean diet is what the focus will be. As a breastfeeding mother, you’re pretty must still on the same types of food restrictions as you were when you were pregnant. This is because you’re still providing food and nutrients to your baby through your breastmilk and the foods you consume directly impact the quality of your breastmilk. In knowing that, you’ve probably heard all kinds of breastfeeding diet myths but don’t give into those myths. You want to always consult with your doctors before making any decisions you’re unsure about.
So What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern based on the traditional foods of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Destinations like Spain, Greece, and Italy are where these foods originate from. The diet’s main focus is on fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and extra virgin olive oil, and lean meats. The foods and meals incorporated in this diet are what make it an excellent dietary guide for breastfeeding.
The Mayo Clinic states this eating plan is a great way to consume heart-healthy foods. Research even shows that this diet has positive effects on the heart and brain, which will translate through your breastmilk. Try not to think of the Mediterranean diet as a “diet”… think of it as a new way of eating. The food is delicious and easy to make. On top of that, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization states that the Greek meaning of the term “diet” means “way of life.”
That’s why the people in the Mediterranean countries were in good health… the foods they consumed were not some “here today, gone tomorrow” fad… it was their way of life. As a breastfeeding mother, the Mediterranean diet can be a way of life for you too, while you’re breastfeeding and after breastfeeding. Take a look at the many benefits of this diet and see how it is a wonderful “way of life” for you and your baby.
It Helps You Lose Weight
What many people don’t know is that the Mediterranean diet wasn’t conceived or created as a weight loss aid… losing weight was just a great benefit or positive side effect of it. So in incorporating this way of life into your meal plans, you might shed a few pounds. It may be hard to believe that it’s even possible because the foods are so good but it’s true. Try this delicious falafel recipe and see how it changes your outlook on the word “diet.”
It Does Wonders For Your Brain
The foods in this diet have results that show improved cognitive and memory functions. A study was done on patients with type 2 diabetes; those patients were followed for two years. The results showed that the patients who were on the Mediterranean diet had improved cognitive function than patients who were on a different type of diet. The cognition improvement also works with individuals without diabetes as well.
It can Reduce Inflammation
In short, inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to illness or injury… well, one of your body’s reactions to illness or injury. Inflammation can come in many forms too. It can come int the form of redness, swelling, and sometimes burning. So what does that tell you? It should let you know that the Mediterranean diet is filled with anti-inflammatory foods that can help your body fight inflammation.
All in all, the Mediterranean diet is a way of life that lots of people love and live by. As a breastfeeding mother, you too can adopt this way of life and you and baby can reap the additional health benefits from it.