28 Mediterranean Diet Foods and their Nutritional Benefits

By Rachel Berman

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