The Mediterranean region is linked not only by the sea and a temperate climate, but also the long and tumultuous history of conquests and occupations. the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Persians and Romans all wove a part in the fabric of the Mediterranean.
The Arabs had a great impact upon the food of the Mediterranean. Travelling along the trade routes, they brought with them fragrant rose and orange blossom waters, pomegranates, citrus fruits, pine nuts, walnuts, eggplants, and courgettes. They also brought spices such as saffron, cumin and cinnamon.
There is no one Mediterranean cuisine. Because of the history of the region, it remains one of the most colourful and vibrant collection of cuisines in the world.
However you could almost define the Mediterranean landscape by the cultivation of olive trees and the use of olive oil.
Other quintessential ingredients are vegetables such as courgettes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and garlic, as well as fruits, pulses and grains, pasta, fresh herbs, spices, nuts and seafood. Generally, the flavours of the Mediterranean are strong and robust and natural flavours are not drowned or masked by butter or creamy, rich sauces.
The Mediterranean diet has received a lot of attention over the past decade from dieticians and nutritionists.
At present, there is much research into the theory that the incorporation of olive oil and abundant seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables into the diet, combined with minimal consumption of red meat and animal fats in the form of butter and lard, maybe associated with a low incidence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !