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Ancient Greek doctors invented the Mediterranean Diet

ancientgreekThe distinctive style of cooking used to create the rich flavours in Mediterranean food may have been first developed by ancient Greek doctors trying to find ways of treating patients.

A new study of texts written by ancient Hippocratic doctors and philosophers has shown that they believed flavour was a key marker of the nutritional and health giving potency of foods.
Experts behind the research say the ancient Greeks saw food as a key to balancing the health of the human body and some physicians even wrote cookery books. They claim that rather than purely thinking about flavour as pleasurable, they also saw it as important for improving foods medicinal qualities.

Ancient doctors such as Galen of Pergamon put particular emphasis on cooking simple ingredients to improve their flavour, a practice that continues in the region today. He commonly prescribed his patients foods rich in garlic and onions to readjust their 'humours' - the four bodily fluids that they believed influenced health.

Professor John Wilkins, an expert on Greek Culture at the University of Exeter, whose study is published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, said this early work may help to explain why the Mediterranean diet is now considered to be among the healthiest in the world.
He said that although many of the ingredients associated with modern Mediterranean food such as lemons, oranges and tomatoes had yet to be imported into the region from China and South America, the basic principals of how ingredients were used appeared to be laid down by these early doctors.

You can read the full article followiing the link in the Daily Mail website.

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Ελληνικά (GR)English (UK)