Your Health

How to Benefit from the Mediterranean Diet at Home

olives and olive oil, a key part of the mediterranean diet

Aside from the weather, one of the factors that sees many of us return to holiday destinations such as Greece and Italy year after year is the deliciously fresh Mediterranean diet.


Holiday plans for summer 2020 may look a little different to normal, but you can still enjoy all the flavours and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet at home.


The World Health Organization recognises the Mediterranean diet as a healthy and sustainable eating plan, and reports show that the incidence of coronary heart disease tends to be significantly lower in Greece, Italy and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.


mediterranean-style food


With this in mind, a Mediterranean diet plan could be a good way to get back on track with healthy eating after lockdown, as you slowly begin to get used to a new routine once again.

What is a Mediterranean Diet?


The Mediterranean diet is actually a plant-based diet, but it doesn’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian. Each Mediterranean-style meal should begin with colourful fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy whole grains, with these healthy fibres typically accompanied by a palm-sized portion of protein.


Following a Mediterranean diet should see you consume fruit, veg, whole grains and healthy fats from olive oil, nuts seeds and fatty fish on a daily basis. Fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines are also a source of omega-3, which has benefits for everything from heart health to brain health.


Make sure you’re incorporating poultry, beans and eggs into your Mediterranean diet plan on a weekly basis, and swap processed foods for whole foods wherever possible.


mediterranean salad with salmon


The Mediterranean diet is also rich in polyphenols, which are plant compounds containing natural antioxidants. Polyphenols can play a role in managing digestion, inflammation and even weight, thanks to their ability to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome. Examples of polyphenols in the Mediterranean diet include:


  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Celery seeds
  • Capers
  • Artichokes
  • Green and black olives

The Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle


Following the Mediterranean diet should be about so much more than simply what you’re eating – it’s a whole lifestyle.


At the heart of Mediterranean living cherishing time with family and friends (something we’ll all relish so much more in the post-COVID world), taking the time to prepare, share and enjoy relaxed, leisurely meals away from screens, and making moderate, enjoyable exercise – such as walking in the countryside or swimming in the sea – a way of life.


woman walking among olive trees in the sun


If you’re embarking on a Mediterranean eating plan for the first time, you’ll need to get used to a different way of approaching food choices; for example, swapping sugar for fruit, honey or maple syrup; swapping refined grains for whole grains; and swapping trans fats for avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds.


Drinks should be water or coffee or tea without any sugar or sweetener – although a key part of the Mediterranean lifestyle for many is also enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner each day.


If you don’t drink or are watching your alcohol intake, you can still experience the health benefits of red wine with Garden of Life Raw Resveratrol supplements, designed to support heart health, as well as healthy ageing.




These capsules contain 350mg of raw fermented resveratrol, alongside extracts of 23 raw fruits and vegetables, including raw organic cabernet sauvignon grape. The amount of resveratrol in these supplements is equivalent to that found in 200 bottles of red wine.

Your Mediterranean Diet Shopping List


Get started with a Mediterranean diet by filling your fridge and cupboards with the items on our list next time you go grocery shopping:


  • Fruit – apples, citrus fruits and berries are all great choices
  • Veg – onions, carrots, spinach, broccoli, artichokes
  • Whole grain bread, pasta and rice
  • Lentils, pulses and beans
  • Almonds and cashew nuts
  • Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia
  • Seafood – salmon, mackerel, lobster, crab, scallops
  • Poultry – organic, pasture-raised chicken
  • Eggs – organic chicken, duck or quail
  • Seasoning – extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, herbs, turmeric and cinnamon
  • Olives
  • Organic cheese
  • Organic Greek yoghurt


Discover more healthy ways to cook and eat with Garden of Life:


4 Healthy & Colourful Summertime Recipes


4 Healthy & Colourful Summertime Recipes

2020-08-03 10:20:57By Garden of Life

Garden of Life

Garden of Life

Writer and expert