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3 Things You Should Know About Mediterranean Cuisine There are many benefits to Mediterranean eating. Compared to other cuisines around the world, Mediterranean cuisine has been identified as one of the healthiest. Mediterranean cuisine, to begin with, is the label used to refer to the culinary culture of the people living around the Mediterranean Sea. This includes North Africa, Southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy), and the Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Cyprus). Many research studies have established a link between Mediterranean eating and better health and longevity. In fact, for many years before fast foods began to creep into the region, the life expectancy of the region was very high. People fell sick less often, despite their drinking and smoking habits. Here’s a look at a few of the defining characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine. Diets in the Mediterranean are largely plant-based
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The main reason why Mediterranean food is healthy is because it’s largely plant-based. The larger proportion of every meals often comprises whole grains, fresh vegetables, and legumes. One could say that the region’s favorable climate for agriculture has played an important role in sustaining this culture. Vegetables used across the countries could vary, but the most common are artichokes, eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, cucumber, okra and squash. Vegetables, may be roasted, baked, grilled, or served in fresh salads.
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Seafood and meats Fresh seafood is also regularly included in Mediterranean cuisine. Alongside legumes, seafood is often the main source of protein. Meat is consumed sparingly, especially in the upper regions of the Mediterranean. The people of this region are careful not to consume too much meat though they are aware of its tastiness. This should not mean that you won’t find meat in a Mediterranean restaurant if you want to try Mediterranean cuisine, or that you have to give up on meat completely. Instead, you only need to reduce the proportions of meat, as the generous servings of fish and legumes are both tasty and rich in protein. Spices and olive oil Olive oil is the dominant oil used for cooking, and olives themselves are widely used to add a rich flavor to the food. Compared to many of the refined vegetable oils used to prepare fast foods today, olive oil is so much healthier. A great variety of spices is used to enhance flavor, including basil, thyme, saffron, mint, oregano, cinnamon, garlic, cumin and cloves. Finally, it’s worth noting how Mediterranean people view mealtimes as times of happiness. Every meal is treated as a social event where people get together and have a good time. As there’s great emphasis on enjoying the food, people will make enough time to savor the food, with meals lasting up to three hours.