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3 Things You Should Know About Mediterranean Cuisine There are quite a number of benefits to eating Mediterranean food. Mediterranean cuisine has been identified as one of the healthiest compared to the diets of other regions around the world. 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). A number of research studies have found a link between Mediterranean-style eating and healthier, longer lives. The life expectancy in the region was in fact quite high many years before fast foods began to make their way into the region. People fell sick less often, despite their drinking and smoking habits. Let’s have a look a few of the distinctive characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine: Mediterranean diets are largely plant-based
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Mediterranean food is healthy mainly because it’s plant-based. The larger part of the meal is often composed of fresh vegetables, whole grains and legumes. One could say that the region’s favorable climate for agriculture has played an important role in sustaining this culture. Though the vegetables used could vary across the countries, the most common are eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, artichokes, squash, cucumber and okra. These vegetables may be used in fresh salads, or prepared by baking, grilling, or roasting.
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Meat & seafood Fresh seafood is as well a regular part of Mediterranean cuisine. Seafood is often the primary source of protein, alongside legumes. Meat is consumed sparingly, particularly in the upper Mediterranean region. The people of the region are aware of the tastiness of meat, but are careful not to consume too much of it for health reasons. If you want Mediterranean cuisine, this does not mean that you won’t find meat in a Mediterranean restaurant, or that you have to give up meat entirely. What is means instead is lowering the proportion of meat as the generous seafood and/or legumes serving should be tasty and provide adequate protein. Use of olive oil and spices Olive oil is the most commonly used oil for cooking, and olives as well are often used to add a rich flavor to 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.

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