The Mediterranean diet is widely recognized as one of the healthiest ways of eating. It is based on fresh, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants. More of a lifestyle than a restrictive program, it promotes heart-healthy ingredients in your meals.

If you are interested in following a Mediterranean diet, there are a few staples that you will need to stock your kitchen with. Adding these items to your diet can help to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Here are some Mediterranean diet staples to keep on hand:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well-documented, and extra virgin olive oil is a key component of this healthy way of eating. Olive oil is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that have been shown to promote heart health, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation. When used judiciously, extra virgin olive oil can help you enjoy all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. You can use it for cooking, on salads, or as a finishing touch before serving.


Olives are also a staple of the Mediterranean diet that you can keep on hand in your pantry. They’re great to add a bit of a briny taste to your dishes or served as a snack along with nuts and cheeses.

nuts seeds mediterranean diet

Nuts and Seeds

These make a great snack and can add a satisfying crunch to any dish. Walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios are excellent choices for this Mediterranean lifestyle.

Canned Seafood

While fresh is best, grabbing cans of tuna, anchovies, sardines, and clams can help you add protein and omega-3 fatty acids to your meals in a pinch. These are great for quick lunches and can help you make some light and refreshing dishes that make you feel like you’re dining on the coast.


Having canned tomatoes in any form is a great idea to concoct dishes from just about any cuisine. For example, you can make sauces or shakshuka with ease when you have canned tomatoes in paste or sauce form. Even sun-dried tomatoes can jazz up a bland meal with great flavors and nutrition.


Another canned item you should never be without is canned beans. Chickpeas, lentils, cannellini, and more can come to the rescue at a moment’s notice, helping you make soups and stews or topping off a salad with fiber-rich protein.

Whole Grains

You can choose millet, pasta, corn grits, whole-grain crackers, and more. These simple ingredients add more substance to your meals to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Artisanal Cheeses

In the Mediterranean, people indulge in cheeses often. The secret is that they choose artisanal types like briny feta or an authentic Parmesan, adding just a touch to their meals. Sprinkle it on roasted potatoes, and you’ll see you don’t need to smother a dish in cheese to let it work its magic. If you want to take a non-dairy approach, grab some of your favorite non-dairy cheeses.

Additionally, you can keep dried fruits, plain Greek yogurt, onions, garlic, and herbs and spices that will help you create the cuisine from the Mediterranean. These foods all bring bold flavors and a bounty of nutrition to any meal you make so you can stay on target without suffering through a bland dish.

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