The colourful Mediterranean Diet is a totally natural diet used for thousands of years by a population that is both healthy and long- living.
Why do we call it the Rainbow Diet?
Because there is no single Mediterranean Diet. It’s an American Research myth. The diet of a fisherman in Nice is very different to that of a priest in Naples (the home of pizza) or a farmer living near the coast in Algeria, or a river boatman on the coast above Cairo.
So we talk of a core coastal area from Barcelona to Naples, where there is a traditional healthy diet. We call the diet the Rainbow Diet because that reflects its benefits.
Also, the Rainbow Diet is a Lifestyle plan, not a restrictive diet. It’s not a fad, it’s not invented, it’s a real diet used by people who have longer lives and lower rates of chronic illness.
The evidence on health and longevity for the Rainbow Diet?
The average person in the UK lives to the age of 75.6 years. Their first chronic illness occurs on average at age 60. The average person in Italy lives to the age of 77.6 years. Their first chronic illness on average develops at age 76.
In the Boston ‘Nurses Study’, all the women were over 50 years of age at the outset. Women who adhered most closely to the Rainbow Diet, wherever they were in the world, at the end of the 15 years study were free of 11 chronic illnesses and 40% more likely to reach 70 years of age.
Actually, there are research studies all over this Website.
Chris Woollams’ Rainbow Diet
The original Rainbow Diet book was penned first in 2005 based on one single piece of research that existed at that time from Harvard Medical School and Chris Woollams’ observations on the health of people on the shoreline between Barcelona and Naples. Chris has a degree in Biochemistry from Oxford, has been writing on health for nearly 20 years, he has had a house on the coast in the South of France for 30 years and speaks French fluently.
The book has been updated six times as yet more and more research evidence came in to support the Rainbow Diet.
Why is the Rainbow Diet so good?
The Rainbow Diet achieves these health benefits because numerous research studies show:
- it is full of anti-oxidants that neutralise free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, the precursor to chronic illness.
- it involves consuming very low levels of refined carbohydrates and sugar that lead to poor insulin control, inflammation and illness in the modern world.
- It is a calorie restricted diet – most people who turn to it lose weight and this has both health and longevity benefits
- It contains high levels of good fats, like olive oil and fish oils, which promote good bacteria in the gut and these make anti- inflammatory molecules.
- It also contains high levels of polyphenols and ellagitannins that promote commensal bacteria, manage inflammation and promote health.
- It contains good levels of natural fibre, which is health promoting.
What foods should I eat in the Mediterranean Diet?
WHOLE FOODS. Ask yourself before you eat: ‘Will this nourish my body?’
Eat deeply colourful vegetables: like aubergines, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, endives (chicory), celery, broccoli, spinach, watercress, fennel, violet garlic, spring onions.
Eat legumes: beans like lentils, red kidney beans, chickpeas and broad beans and peas.
Eat deeply colourful fruits: like peaches, apricots, cherries, figs, red grapes, berries, watermelon and plums.
Eat whole grains: whole brown or black rice, whole wheat pasta, couscous, buckwheat, jacket potato.
Eat nuts and seeds: Starting with walnuts, then almonds, chestnuts, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.
Eat healtbhy oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, olives, fish oils, avocados and nut and seed oils
Eat fish: rather than meat; fish such as sardines, mackerel, sea bream (dorade), sea bass, tuna, prawns, crab, oysters, mussels.
Eat chicken: rather than red meat.
Eat herbs and spices: such as oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon
What to Drink?
- Red wine – one glass per day
What to restrict?
- Eggs except organic and no more than 3-4 a week
- Cows’ dairy – switch to a little unpasteurised sheep or goats’
- No added sugar
- No refined carbohydrates
- No refined oils and trans fats
- No processed foods (salami, ham, rillettes) Lifestyle
- Go in the sun. If you cannot have 2-4 hours sunshine a day, supplement with 3000 IUs vitamin D3.
- Go in the sun – If you cannot have 2-4 hours sunshine a day, supplement with 3000 IUs vitamin D3.
- Exercise – keep moving. Hit 5,000 steps a day at least, 50,000 per week. Try to get out of breath for 60 minutes a week.
- Sleep – in a darkened room (shutters; no external light visible)