Wholesome food is the basis of wellness. And when it comes to choosing foods that support total health—and especially the health of the endothelium and heart—I recommend the Mediterranean diet. Rich in foods frequently found in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, the diet has been shown by numerous studies to be a great choice for the heart. I’ll be going into detail about the specific foods included in the diet in later posts, but for now, here are six reasons to eat the Mediterranean diet:


  1. It’s full of variety. Fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fish make up the main foods in this good-for-you diet. But it also incorporates some unique additions like olive oil and red wine.
  2. It’s flavorful. Instead of the using the old standby of salt to add flavor to dishes, the Mediterranean diet integrates herbs and spices, which have nutritional value of their own. Olive oil is also used instead of butter, adding another dimension to the flavor.
  3. It limits certain foods. Sugar, high-fat foods and processed foods rarely make it into a Mediterranean meal. Instead, the diet focuses on limiting the intake of these nutrient-poor options.
  4. It emphasizes fish. The diet limits eating red meat to a few times a month; instead, fatty fish and some poultry make up the majority of meat intake. Eating fish two or more times a week helps Mediterranean eaters get the Omega-3s DHA and EPA.
  5. It’s great for your endothelium. A healthy endothelium is the foundation of cardiovascular wellness, and nutrients in the Mediterranean diet support the health of endothelial cells.
  6. It’s easy. Since the diet includes whole foods like fruits and vegetables, throwing together a Mediterranean meal or snack is easy. You can make a batch of hummus at the beginning of the week and then enjoy it all week long; just eat it with vegetables if you get hungry between meals.


These are just a few of the reasons I typically opt for foods in the Mediterranean diet. What are your favorite Mediterranean foods? Please share in the comments.