Germany’s first nutritionist published guidelines for healthy eating that are still relevant today. At the foundation of Hildegard‘s medieval diet plan was the premise that food could hurt or heal.
Even today, thousands choose to follow Hildegard’s medieval diet rules. In Germany, her influence has shaped the way many people think about food and its healing properties.
Hildegard Health: Medieval Diet for Middle Age Nutrition
Hildegard’s medieval diet rules delineate foods according to their “healing” capabilities. While there are a lot of healthy foods not on her list, this is a great place to start when thinking about adding some “healing” foods to your version of a medieval diet.
Hildegard healthy foods
Beans, butter, spelt, sweet chestnuts, fennel, spice cakes, roasted spelt porridge, lettuce salad with dill or garlic or vinegar and oil, honey, carrots, garbanzo beans, squash and its oil, almonds, horseradish, radishes, raw sugar, red beets, cooked celeriac, sunflower seed oil, wine vinegar, cooked onions.
Apples, cooked pears, blackberries, raspberries, red currants, cornels, cherries, mulberries, medlar, quinces, sloe berries, grapes, citrus, dates.
Grayling, trout, bass, cod, pike, wels catfish, pike perch.
Poultry, lamb, beef, venison, goat.
Beer, spelt coffee, fruit juice thinned with mountain spring water, fennel, rose hip or sage teas, wine, goat milk.
Bertram (akarkara, or pellitory), fennel, psyllium, galangal root, Water mint, mugwort, chamomile root, nettles, watercress, burning bush root, gentian root, raw garlic, spearmint, cubeb, lavender, lovage, fruit of the bay tree, saltbush, poppy, nutmeg, cumin, clove, parsley, polemize, wild thyme, tansy, sage, yarrow, licorice root, rue, hyssop, cinnamon.
Hildegard’s Highest rated foods
Spelt, chestnuts, fennel and chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Hildegard’s General Medieval Diet Guidelines
° Meat should be from animals that eat grass and hay and don’t have too many offspring.
° Butter and cream from the cow are good, but milk and cheese are better from the goat.
° Sunflower seed and pumpkin seed oils are good; olive oil is reserved for medicinal purposes.
She also believed that individuals with cancer should not ingest animal protein at all.
Hildegard’s Recommended Daily Routine
Hildegard believed the first meal of the day should be cooked and warm, in order to warm the stomach and help ease the stomach into function for the rest of the day.
Good first meals include spelt flour bread, spelt coffee or fennel tea, and roasted spelt breakfast porridge or habermuss with dried fruit. The first meal should be taken later in the morning, not right after rising, shortly before midday or even around midday. Only the sick and weak should eat earlier, to gain strength.
And one more important practice emphasized in any Hildegard health routine: enjoy nature by taking a walk after your evening meal.