May is Mediterranean Cooking Month! Simply put, Mediterranean cooking is exactly what it sounds like: a diet consisting of foods most often sought and consumed in all countries which surround the Mediterranean Sea. More recently, the diet has become more popular in the United States, which is experiencing an increase in fad diets. The Mediterranean diet is likely popular because it is considered quite healthy by food experts, and those living the Mediterranean regions experience longer life spans than those who live outside.
Popular foods which make up the diet consist of a large assortment of fresh vegetables, fish, pasta, nuts, seeds, couscous, hummus, and fermented foods. This is a basic understanding of the diet, but it is certainly far more complex when one decides to take part.
Fermented foods, for example, have a very beneficial effect on the digestive tract, which is composed of various good and bad types of bacteria. Many popular foods in America can increase the number of malevolent bacteria, which makes it more difficult to digest food properly and leads to a large number of digestive disorders and even cancer of the digestive tract. Fermented foods such as pickles, olives, sauerkraut, and even wine, will increase the number of good, or probiotic, bacteria, which in turn helps keep digestive tracts clean and healthy. Other healthy foods are kefir, yogurt, and kombucha. All have the same effect.
Preparing for Mediterranean Cooking Month can certainly be an ordeal all by itself if you're interested in testing the new waters. Chances are you'll want to find and purchase some brand new cookware. How about a brand new fondue set so you can dip sweet fruits in rich, dark chocolate? Dark chocolate tends to be healthier for the heart and triggers a number of pleasure receptors in the brain. A great choice for those who are suffering from any kind of clinical depression. It might also be the proper time to purchase a new bread pan in order to take advantage of a wide variety of Mediterranean breads.
During Mediterranean Cooking Month, take the opportunity to explore these new foods and methods of cooking. It's the perfect time to invite family and friends over and share with them some new recipes, or ask them each to bring a special dish that no one has likely experienced before. And what better time to enjoy a fine glass of wine or a subtle, healthy dessert made of fruit or yogurt? The Mediterranean diet has a lot to offer, and we're ready to dive in!