1. The term Mediterranean Diet is used to describe food patterns, which originated in Crete and much of the rest of Greece, as well as Italy in the early 1960's. It incorporates the healthy living and eating habits of people living in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

2. Mediterranean diet promotes a healthy lifestyle and includes food groups such as vegetables, fruits, olive oil, nuts, cereals, honey, fish, whole grains, legumes and a low intake of red meat, poultry and sweets. [1,2 Source: References: Estruch R. et al, 2013. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol 368 (4), pp 1279-1290.]

3. Ikaria Island island are in the top of the list of the places in the world with high longevity and healthy population

View the Mediterranean diet pyramid

mediterranean-diet-pyramid

4. A tip of longevity and high life expectancy found in Greek nutrition is the consumption of a small glass of red wine daily with the lunch or dinner,which prevents aging and heart deases

5. Greece has 600 wineries, 400 indigenous wine grape varieties used for wine making and 4000 years of winemaking , using then the same grape varieties as today.

Wine routes and vineyards

6. Extra Virgin olive oil is A and Z of the Greek cuisine. It is scientifically proven to help in reduction of blood sugar cholesterol.

olive trees

7. Greeks are record holders in olive consumption with 18 kg of extra virgin olive oil per head per year!

8. Some nutritional habits have lasted since the ancient times, like the pies! In ancient Greece pies were savoured as breakfast and sweet ones were served during symposiums.

9. Greek pies are among the essentials of the Greek cuisine. The notion behind the pies, is that people in ancient years or hard times in modern years filled the pastries with all the ingredients that were left, seasonal or they were available at the very moment. Wheat was almost always available for the pastry making. Exactly the same reason why Italians created the pizza’s only Greeks put a cover on it!

Greek pies

10. Mastiha or Mastic the secret gem of Greek land. Mastiha is produced from the raisin of the mastic tree. It is used for liqueurs, cosmetics and as a tear or drops to flavour foods and desserts. Mastic is the basis of the natural chewing gums, too. Mastiha is only produced in a small corner of this planet, at a south eastern side of the Mediterranean basin in a Greek island called Chios. It is scientifically proven that Mastic has medicinal benefits this is why is used in cosmetics. An urban legend describes the effort and money spend in transferring mastic cultivations in other parts of the world, which were studied and found to have similar climate and soil properties, such as a little island in Japan. There are also mastic cultivations in Turkey in the other side of the sea opposite Chios Island, but none of the above produce mastiha proper for consumption.

Tear of the mastic tree

by Agora team