10 Kitchen Staples Any Mediterranean Diet Convert Needs At All Times
Grab your shopping list!
We love singing the praises of the Mediterranean Diet and why it is the healthiest diet in the world.
But for beginners to the diet, we are taking it back to the basics.
Grab your shopping list and add these Mediterranean Diet staples that no fan of the Diet is ever without a good supply.
1. Olive Oil
Our favourite oil takes out the top spot on the list. And why wouldn’t it? Packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, olive oil has been a pantry staple in Mediterranean kitchens for centuries. And now it is loved across the world. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a particular favourite on the Mediterranean Diet.
Lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas and grains should always be in good supply in the kitchen of a Mediterranean Diet follower. Legumes can be widely used in many recipes, and are healthy, low in fat and cholesterol, and high in iron and magnesium. They are also high GI so release energy slowly.
Every healthy diet includes a high daily intake of fruit, and the Mediterranean Diet is no exception, with a minimum of three servings of fruit a day recommended. Specific low-sugar fruits should be incorporated into your daily food schedule, such as oranges, bananas, berries, peaches and melons.
4. Whole Grains
Technically legumes, we are putting grains in their own spot on this list as they are so integral to the Mediterranean Diet. Add whole grains like brown rice, corn, whole oats and barley to your shopping list for daily intake, and enjoy whole grain bread and pasta in moderation.
Nuts are a central source of protein in the Mediterranean Diet, as foods like red meat are only rarely allowed. Nuts to stock up on include almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts and cashews. A small bowl of these nuts as a snack will give you a mid-afternoon pick-me-up in place of that chocolate bar.
Eat: Almond Cookies
Fish is another source of protein recommended on the Mediterranean Diet. Most fish are low in fat and high in Omega-3 and the fatty acids your body needs. The best fish to enjoy on this diet are salmon, tuna, seabass and herring, which are low in cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
7. Leafy Vegetables
It goes without saying that leafy greens and veggies are a must-have in your kitchen when undertaking the Mediterranean Diet. Opt for leafy veg like lettuce, kale, spinach, red cabbage and leek and you’ll be feeling great in no time.
Yoghurt is allowed in moderation on the Mediterranean Diet and shouldn’t be a daily thing. When enjoying a bowl of yoghurt, opt for natural or Greek yoghurt as their protein levels are higher than regular yoghurts. A morning yoghurt bowl with berries, almonds and cinnamon is ideal for a Mediterranean Diet convert.
Eat: Ensaladilla Rusa
Tomatoes are widely used in recipes of the Mediterranean Diet as they are a quintessential Mediterranean food with many healthy qualities. The fruit (yep, not a vegetable), is high in antioxidants and proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are also versatile in many dishes, from fresh salads to soup to grilled at breakfast.
10. Red wine
Who doesn’t love red wine? Well, you’ll be thrilled to know that it is allowed in moderation on the Mediterranean Diet. A robust Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Rioja or Ribera goes down a treat at dinner, and is low in carbohydrates and good for heart health.
Eat: We don't have a recipe on our website incorporating red wine yet but this recipe for crab croquetas is so yummy.