Since vegetables make up the largest portion of a Mediterranean plate, it’s important to understand which to include. While Smith says “any and all vegetables work,” certain veggies are healthier than others.
Dark, leafy greens, for example, contain a variety of antioxidants and carotenoids that help fight free-radicals and reduce inflammation. They’re also generally high in vitamins and minerals. To get these benefits, add spinach, broccoli, kale and arugula to your plate, just to name a few.
Another simple way to consume a large variety of vegetables is with a healthy side salad. In true Mediterranean fashion, integrative medicine doctor Bindiya Gandhi, M.D. suggests eating “traditional Greek salad made with tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, onions, olives, and feta.”
Other vegetables to include: carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, cauliflower, bell peppers, artichokes, zucchini, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, celery, fennel, cabbage, leeks, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc.