Immensely popular among the health conscious – along with researchers now studying ways to delay age-related illnesses – the Mediterranean diet is full of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. We were inspired by this type of cuisine for our Greece Box.
We were determined to create an authentic Greek (and Mediterranean) experience with an emphasis on fish, lean meats, produce, and nuts. The hallmarks are extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and fresh seafood, but there’s so many other important components to this way of eating.
For countries all over the world, eating is a way to celebrate and engage with life. It’s an opportunity to learn more about regional food cultures, too. Working off this idea, the Mediterranean diet is a way of interpreting a country’s way of life and tradition through food. Diet simply means “the kind of food that a person or community habitually eats.”
Due to low levels of illness (like heart disease) in the Mediterranean, attention was first focused on the this way of eating about 50 years ago. While residents around the area consumed about 40% of their calories from fat, they seemed to be in such a healthy condition.
Science now attributes this to low amounts of saturated animal fat, combined with hardly any processed fats. There’s also a high amount of healthy fats derived from fish and olive oil, which contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Coined by Dr. Ancel Keys, a doctor from Minnesota studying the Mediterranean, ‘the Mediterranean diet’ became an incredibly popular way of eating. One of the primary effects of the diet was learning that exposure to fat is not always a bad thing.
It’s said that the Mediterranean diet reduces obesity, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers. Eating seasonally and locally is important as well. The philosophy of preparing food as a means to celebrate the natural flavor of an ingredient, as opposed to masking it with artificial flavors, is integral.
Drinking healthy amounts of water is paramount as well, which some Americans tend not to do. As the ancient Greek poet Pindaros once said, “water can be as pleasant as honey.”
Two of the most used ingredients, lemon and oregano are primary staples of Greek cuisine. Lemon provides a great source of vitamin C and oregano contains valuable antioxidants.
A fun fact you don’t want to forget: many recommend a glass of wine (or two) for heart health, reduced stress, and improved circulation!