Mediterranean Diet Essentials

The Mediterranean diet is often considered one of the world's healthiest. Enhance your diet with these 5 Mediterranean food staples.

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

©Con Poulos

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Fresh Fish

Since much of the Mediterranean area is surrounded by water, fish is a main source of protein. Find the freshest fish your area has to offer, or try this simply-steamed bass.

Get the Recipe: Brass Agrodolce with Spaghetti Squash and Mushrooms: Bass Agrodolce with Spaghetti Squash and Mushrooms

Nuts and Beans

The Mediterranean diet also contains lots of lower-fat, plant-based proteins, like beans and nuts. To get your daily dose, try this Lemon Salmon with Lima Beans.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Salmon with Lima Beans: Lemon Salmon with Lima Beans

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs add lots of flavor with few calories, and they're a staple in this cuisine, especially parsley, mint and basil. Mix herbs into salads, sides or use to flavor proteins, like these mint-rubbed lamb chops.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint: Grilled Lamb Chops With Mint

Whole Grains

Mediterranean cuisine augments fresh ingredients with healthy whole grains. Quick-cooking bulgur is a favorite used for tabbouleh salad, and this cucumber, dill and olive-topped side dish.

Get the Recipe: Bulgur Salad: Bulgur Salad

Fresh, In-Season Vegetables

Fresh, seasonal vegetables are another mainstay of Mediterranean cuisine.Cook them until just tender, then dress with lemon, a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Get fresh veggie ideas from our Mediterranean sides gallery.