Following the Mediterranean diet can sometimes be overwhelming because there are so many recipes and foods to choose from. Having staple ingredients in your diet is a simple and easy way to help you start the cycle towards a healthier life. Luckily, I’ve done a bit of research and have found staple ingredients for you! Even so, there were so many different articles with different ingredients! Sites like dummies.com, fitsugar.com, and shine.yahoo.com gave great staple foods that helped me narrow it down to eight ingredients. Here are 8 delicious food ingredients for a Mediterranean diet!
Staples! Staples! Staples!
1. Nuts, Legumes, and Seeds- Nuts are an excellent source of protein and something as simple as a handful of nuts for snack is a great step towards a healthy Mediterranean diet. For those that don’t know, legumes are foods like lentils, beans, and peas. Legumes are a great replacement for meat because they are a plentiful source of protein, fiber, and potassium.
2. Olive Oil- Olive Oil is a very common ingredient for the Mediterranean diet. It is full of monounsaturated fats and disease-fighting antioxidants that keep your body strong. When using olive oil make sure it is high-quality and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Now that’s a mouthful!
3. Whole Grains- Swap out the refined grains for healthy grains like couscous or quinoa. Whole grains give your body the proper fiber, protein, vitamins, and healthy fats it needs. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces belly fat.
4. Fruits and Vegetables- We all know the benefits of fruits and vegetables and including them in the Mediterranean diet is essential. Even drinking 100% natural fruit juice is a healthy diet choice. If you do decide to incorporate fruit juice into your diet, limit intake to 8-12 ounces daily for a healthy amount.
5. Fish- Eating fish once or twice a week provides the greatest benefit when following the Mediterranean diet. Fish is lower in calories than other meats and has high levels of omega-3 fats that are good for you.
6. Herbs- Simple herbs are great to spice up your meal. Some staple herbs in a Mediterranean diet include basil, oregano, garlic chives, and rosemary.
7. Dairy- Common dairy ingredients in a Mediterranean diet include cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, crumbled feta, and goat cheese. This is an excellent source of calcium and feta cheese is delicious on top of a tasty salad!
8. Beans- Be sure to incorporate beans in your diet as well! Fresh beans like fava beans can be great for your body.
I hope these 8 staple foods make creating Mediterranean meals a little bit easier. Do you use any of these ingredients in your diet? Let us know and be sure to send in your testimonials. Details on the sidebar of the home page!! Eat well, live well, and remember to #StartTheCycle.