By John Fenster
Olive oil is central to all Mediterranean diets. Tocopherols, carotenoids, and polyphenols make extra-virgin olive oil antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
This kitchen staple works for cooking, dips, spreads, and salad dressings. High-quality olive oil comes in dark bottles.
Mediterranean diets emphasize local, seasonal vegetables. Frittatas, beans, and lentil soups commonly include dark leafy greens including kale.
Chard, beet greens, mustard greens, cassava leaves, and collard greens.
Aromatic herbs and spices offer flavor without salt or sugar. These plant-based seasonings decrease salt and boost antioxidants.
The world is your oyster with so many spices that offer diverse tastes.
Fish and shellfish provide protein and healthful fats in the Mediterranean diet.
Omega-3-rich tuna, sardines, and salmon are eaten fresh or tinned.