The Mediterranean Diet - probably the healthiest diet in the world

The Mediterranean Diet - probably the healthiest diet in the world

The Mediterranean diet is linked to increased longevity, lowered cancer rates, lowered heart disease and strokes, lowered diabetes risk, lowered Alzheimer’s risk, lowered blood pressure, less inflammation, lowered insulin levels, weight loss and lowered blood sugar.

No wonder the colourful Mediterranean Diet (the Rainbow Diet as we call it) has been voted the Healthiest Diet and, the Best Plant Based diet in the World by 41 Professors and Nutrition experts for seven consecutive years now.. 

But the Rainbow Diet, as written by Chris Woollams back in 2005 is nothing like the Rainbow diet copies in the USA. It is definitely NOT about throwing a few handsful of berries in a blender to make a Rainbow Smoothie, as one website was doing. Even in the first edition of the book back in 2005, Chris Woollams told you that 'The Rainbow Diet is a Lifestyle, not just a diet'.

More than ten years ahead of his time

It may seem quite normal nowadays to talk of the colourful Mediterranean Diet as the healthiest diet in the world, but 19 years ago when Chris Woollams first advocated it for people with cancer, this colourful, lifestyle diet was barely even acknowledged. A couple of studies from Harvard Medical School suggested some potential, but that was all.

But Chris started writing articles about the Mediterranean Diet, especially using it with cancer, and then he penned ‘The Rainbow Diet – and how it can help you beat cancer’. He also told you in that first edition that it could 'Correct, not just Protect'.

Go To: The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer
In 2005, when The Rainbow Diet was written, this book was a revelation. This is a real diet, with over 95 research studies, and the people of Sardinia who employ this lifestyle have more 80, 90 and 100 year-olds than anywhere else in the world. 

CANCERactive Guidelines for increasing cancer survival  

The Rainbow Diet and Exercise are two crucial planks of the CANCERactive guidelines for cancer survival. But we are not alone in this view. In the USA, the American Cancer Society conducted research on stage 3 cancer patients, all of whom had had chemo and surgery. Those who adhered most closely to the ACS guidelines on Diet and Exercise had 31% less cancer recurrence, and 42% less deaths in the seven years the study ran for. Their guidelines are almost exactly those of CANCERactive.


The real-life Mediterranean Diet 

It is important to add two further points.
1. There is no such thing as a single Mediterranean Diet, any more than there is a single United States Diet. People on the South shore of the Mediterranean in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Egypt, do not really eat an identical diet to the inhabitants of the North shore between Barcelona and Naples.
2. The fats of the Barcelona to Naples inhabitants are not saturated – coconut oil is unheard of - the fats are most usually cold-pressed olive oil, nut oils and fish oils.
The Mediterranean Diet details – How to live illness-free, longer
There is no need to fabricate or hypothesise anything about the colourful Mediterranean Diet - the Rainbow Diet. 
It is what it is; it’s there for all to see.It's been around for centuries. It’s not ’gluten-free’ or ’lactose-free’.They do eat croissants and bread, they do eat pasta and whole grain foods and traditionally they did work in boats or in the fields, experiencing perhaps too much sunshine and then too much red wine.
But over the last decade or so there have been a great number of research studies consistently arguing for the health benefits. For example:

   1. Data on first chronic illness and average age at death in Europe shows that the British live to 75.6 years on average but their first chronic illness comes around the age of 60. However, in Italy, life expectancy is 77.7 and the first chronic illness occurs around the age of 75.

    2. A 15-year worldwide study of women over 50 years of age showed that those who adhered most closely to the colourful Mediterranean Diet were 40 per cent more likely to reach 70 years of age than non-adherers, and were free of 11 chronic illnesses at the end of the study.
What is the colourful Mediterranean Diet? Key features
1. The Rainbow Diet is a Lifestyle diet:
     a. OUTDOORS  -  The first thing people think of if you say it is an outdoor lifestyle is the sunshine vitamin D.. Research shows it is better to go in the sunshine for 4 hours a day than take 5,000IUs of supplement, but some people don’t really have a choice. However, if you are outdoors even on the darkest day, your cells will make melatonin, a huge anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant that restores the health of your cells. Finally, especially if you live near the sea, you get fresh air.
     b. EXERCISE.  Traditionally, people moved more and sat less - in line with the latest research, we believe people should at least try to take light to moderate exercise, where they get a little out of breath, almost every day of their lives. But this is not rigorous gym work. This is movement. Do not sit still for more than an hour; then get up and move for 5 minutes. Try to walk 10,000 steps a day. But exercise doesn’t just increase blood oxygen; it produces endorphins which neutralize stress hormones. Yoga is one of the best endorphin producing exercises. 
     c. A SENSE OF COMMUNITY. it produces a sense of belonging and a sense of self-worth. In Mediterranean Villages, everybody knows each other. Families are large and support each other. Catholicism probably even plays its part. As people age they are respected more, and generally people respect others in the community.
     d. ENJOYMENT.  Knowing your neighbours and others in the village creates a friendlier attitude. People enjoy their lives; they enjoy laughter with those around them. If they have a four hour meal they will invite others to enjoy it with them. They enjoy their food. How can you enjoy a fruit smoothie with your family and friends?Have more meals with family and friends. Eat slowly, talk and laugh.
     e. SLEEP PROPERLY: Mediterranean rooms traditionally were dark, even shuttered, with no artificial light, EMFs, phones and TVs in them. Have 7 hours minimum sleep in a fully dark room per night.

     f. LEARN TO BE CALM. Worry beads, chess or draughts, sipping a small coffee for an hour, reading the paper, wandering round the market. It de-stresses the body, just like meditation.

2. NOURISH YOURSELF - and your gut bacteria

i) Eat more good fat and oil: Particularly ‘unsaturated fat’; Healthy fat from extra virgin olive oil, walnuts and fish oil and oily fish.

ii) Eat soluble fibre: Consume pulses like red kidney beans, lentils, chick peas. Carbohydrate should ideally be limited to whole, unrefined carbs like whole oats, whole brown rice and jacket potatoes. Eat vegetables and nuts and seeds. Soluble fibre forms a gel in your gut and increases the numbers of healthy gut bacteria making anti-inflammatory molecules. Sugar and refined carbs, processed and packaged foods have gone from your life. They fuel inflammation in the body. 
iii) Switch from meat to fish: There are few cows along the North shore of the Med. What meat there was, scrambled up rocky hills - chicken and goats. So, eat more fish - think tuna, mackerel, sardines. Unfortunately people just don’t eat enough fish these days, so think about a fish or krill oil supplement; even some sea kelp. 88% of people are low in iodine. It corrects the metabolism of cells, boosts energy and cellular oxygenation. 
iv) Eat more Polyphenols - these are the bioactive compounds that can prevent and correct chronic illnesses. They are not just in colourful fruits and vegetables but in high levels in herbs:  The markets on the coast in the South of France and Italy are full of these health-giving, microbe-killing, vitamin-rich foods. Consume a variety of salad leaves from chicory and watercress to herbs like oregano, basil, coriander (cilantro) black pepper, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, fennel, onions (red onions, spring onions), red and yellow peppers, radishes, beetroot. Eat fruits like tomatoes, apricots and peaches. Always eat more vegetables than fruits.  A little dark chocolate is good for your gut bacteritoo.
v) Eat raw cheese: Kefir, probiotic pills, sauerkraut and apple cider vinegar are all beneficial, but nothing comes even close to consuming a little raw unpasteurised goats cheese. You will take on board trillions of the families Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These Lactic Acid bacteria will bring you good health.

vi) Drink red wine, real coffee and drink more water. Make water your normal ’soft’ drink, and red wine your only alcohol and avoid diet and normal sodas, fizzy soft drinks and bought fruit juices.
There is far, far more information in our book, ‘The Rainbow Diet’, including a shopping cart, a points system and a full list of the many foods you can eat.
Changing your diet to beat cancer
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.