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Adopting the Mediterranean Diet? Here are 8 Foods to Stock Up On

vegetarian quinoa salad

While we can't all experience a sunset over a sprawling blue ocean backed by Mount Parnassus, we can enjoy healthy habits inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle. The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other healthy sources of proteins and fats. Because it also encourages regular exercise, the diet can lead to improved heart and brain health, and protection against several chronic diseases.

This dietary lifestyle is sustainable and easy to follow because the focus is on moderation. To make it easier, we curated a list of foods to start you on the right path.

Olives

olives mediterranean diet foods

Many Mediterranean meals include olives and olive oil—both of which contain healthy unsaturated fats, that can help reduce cholesterol levels. Olives also have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which support overall health.

As with most fruits, you can enjoy olives as a simple snack. If you're in the mood for a traditional Mediterranean dish, you can blend them into a dip or tapenade, or toss some into a Greek salad. You can top off most salads with olive oil; try the farro vegetable salad, a nutritiously filling option that you can easily pack for work or a picnic.

Chickpeas

chickpeas mediterranean diet foods

Full of fiber and protein, chickpeas keep you feeling full longer, and they improve overall digestion.

What's great about chickpeas is that they're an inexpensive food and easy to incorporate in your diet. Treat yourself to some roasted chickpeas as a crunchy snack, or add a handful to a soup or side dish. Of course, hummus is a classic and tasty option!

Salmon

salmon mediterranean diet foods

Besides being a good source of proteins and other important nutrients, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, an essential healthy fat that promotes brain and heart function. Plus, eating salmon can keep your colon healthy.

Salmon makes a great addition to a lot of delicious dishes. We recommend pairing a baked salmon with this farro risotto.

Quinoa

quinoa mediterranean diet foods

Despite its size, quinoa is a powerful little seed. It's packed with protein and fiber, like chickpeas, so you'll feel fuller and more satisfied after eating a quinoa-filled meal. And it's a good source of minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium, which help regulate blood pressure and keep bones strong.

Looking for a quick and easy meal? Try a quinoa veggie wrap or quinoa tabbouleh salad. Both are simple to prepare, and they'll keep you going throughout the day.

Bell Peppers

colorful bell peppers mediterranean diet foods

Red and yellow bell peppers are typically sweeter than their green counterpart, but all three colorful vegetables serve up plenty of vitamins and carotenoids, which play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Whip up these quinoa stuffed peppers for dinner—you'll get the added benefit of enjoying two healthy Mediterranean ingredients.

Tomatoes

tomatoes mediterranean diet foods

Tomatoes are another excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients, such as calcium and vitamins A and C. That means by eating tomatoes, you'll be maintaining strong bones, good vision, and healthy skin.

To get your fill, mix a few chopped tomatoes into this broccoli quinoa salad. Or go for some Italian instead by preparing your own pizza with homemade tomato sauce and pizza dough mix.

Almonds

almonds mediterranean diet foods

Let's see, almonds help maintain bone density, lower cholesterol, boost metabolism, and they taste delicious. That's a pretty impressive nut!

You can indulge your sweet tooth with these dark chocolate almonds or drink a glass of almond milk. Either way, you'll enjoy the many health benefits of almonds.

Avocados

avocados mediterranean diet foods

We're big fans of this superfood—yet another option that will help you maintain brain and heart health. Like almonds, avocados contain plenty of healthy fats, to keep cholesterol levels down and help the body absorb nutrients. They also offer anti-aging properties to keep skin looking rejuvenated.

We love this chlorella guacamole; it's great for sharing with friends and family. Use it as a dip for tortilla chips, toast, or whatever else you prefer.

With its focus on fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, the Mediterranean Diet offers long-term health benefits. Include these eight foods in your meals to enjoy long-lasting health as you watch the sunset—wherever that may be.

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