Mediterranean Diet For Dummies
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Many of the food items featured in the Mediterranean diet are packed with nutrients. The Mediterranean diet includes a wide variety of foods, that won't leave you bored. Have a look at some of these foods and the more notable nutritional benefits they provide.

Food Nutrients
Almonds Fiber, vitamin E, potassium, healthy fats, and calcium
Artichokes Antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C
Avocados Heart healthy fat, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and lutein, an antioxidant that protects eye health and prevents macular degeneration
Barley Protein and fiber, in the form of soluble beta-glucan fiber, which has specific benefits to help reduce bad cholesterol and improve blood glucose levels
Bulgur Fiber (more than oats, corn, or buckwheat), thiamin, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese
Chickpeas Fiber, protein, and multiple vitamins (thiamin, B6, folate, vitamins E, K, A, and C, riboflavin, and niacin) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium)
Dairy products Protein, calcium, and vitamins
Eggplant Fiber and antioxidants that have heart health and cancer-fighting properties and that may offer protection against obesity and diabetes
Eggs Heart healthy fat, vitamin A, folic acid, choline, biotin (beneficial for immune system and brain health), phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin (important for eye health and slowing the effects of aging), and cholesterol (in the yolk)
Farro Complex carbohydrates, including a particular type that's been found to boost immunity and keep blood glucose and cholesterol in check
Hazelnuts Fiber, B vitamins (thiamine and folate), and flavonoids that improve circulation and protect brain health
Mandarin orangess Fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A
Mussels Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, selenium, and folate
Olive oil Heart healthy fats; vitamins E, K, and A; antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, cancer risk, and risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol; and carotenoids, which promote eye health
Olives Heart healthy fats
Onions Antioxidants, antibacterial properties, compounds that help lower blood pressure, and chromium, a mineral that may be helpful in keeping blood glucose in check
Oysters Protein and zinc
Pine nuts Fiber, pinoleic acid (may trigger hormones that suppress appetite and promote weight loss), and lutein
Pistachios Vitamin A, vitamin E, and lutein
Pomegranates Fiber and antioxidants that can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve arterial health
Quinoa Protein, potassium, and iron
Salmon Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D
Sardines Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin B12, and potassium
Sweet potatoes Fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C
Tuna Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and selenium, a mineral that helps fight inflammation
Walnuts Fiber, heart healthy oils, and linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, which reduce inflammation, risk of heart disease, and certain types of cancer, and benefit brain health and offer protection from cognitive decline
Red wine Antioxidants, notably resveratrol (fights free radicals, boosts immune system, and wards off disease) and quercetin (widens blood vessels, minimizes clots, and reduces inflammation).
Zucchini Fiber, multiple vitamins, and manganese, which helps energy metabolism

About This Article

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About the book author:

Rachel Berman, RD, a nationally recognized nutrition expert, has helped thousands of clients lose weight and improve their health. She is the Director of Nutrition and an editor at Health. As a contributor to numerous publications, and through appearances on various local and national radio and television health segments, she regularly shares her core philosophy of balance and moderation as well her passion about helping others develop a healthier relationship with food. Meri Raffetto, RD, LDN and Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, coauthors of Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies, share this philosophy and are contributors to this book.

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