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The Greek Superfoods I

The Greek Superfoods I

It would be remiss not to mention the superfoods of our country. The chia, quinoa and amaranth seeds of the Aztecs and the Incas are good, buckwheat and millet seeds from China and Japan are also excellent.

But the Greek land is full of miracle foods rich in nutritional value, which support a balanced diet model, structured through the wisdom of centuries.

The traditional Greek diet emphasizes olive oil, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants, while limiting red meat and processed foods.

We don’t have to travel to the ends of the Earth to find superfoods, we can just look around.

The olive oil or liquid gold according to Homer is the protagonist in the Mediterranean diet. It has a beneficial effect on almost all body functions when consumed raw and has an acidity below 0.8%. It protects the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent strokes. It reduces the risk of depression and regulates cholesterol levels. It protects against Alzheimer’s disease, has antiaging properties, and has a positive effect on the development of the central nervous system.

The decree is an endemic plant of Crete with medicinal properties known since ancient times. It grows on steep slopes of canyons and ravines and on steep coastal cliffs. In Crete they usually offer it as a drink. It is traditionally used as an anti-bleeding and healing agent. It has an antiseptic and antispasmodic effect. It is used for wound healing, as a digestive system soothing agent, against flu and colds. It relieves headaches, stomach disorders, toothaches and abscesses, while it helps with good digestion. Chewing its leaves stops bad breath.

The durum wheat or Zea comes from the word ΄Zidearos΄which means the one who gives life. The city of Athens was called Zidoros because its lands provided the local grain. Zea’s marina in Piraeus got its name from the fact that Zea used to sail there to the other ports. Its systematic cultivation began to be gradually limited from the beginning of the 1900s against other wheat varieties that were more profitable. But in the last 5 years there has been an increasing interest in its cultivation in Peloponnese, Thessaly and Northern Greece. Zeas flour has a lower amount of gluten and a higher amount of protein, magnesium and fiber than other wheat varieties.

THE Chios Mastic is a unique treasure produced only in the southern part of Chios and nowhere else! It has been known since ancient times for its unique aroma and its healing properties. It was the world’s first natural chewing gum, valuable for cleaning and whitening teeth. It is an aromatic natural resin extracted from masticated skin. Contains substances with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial action. It flavors food, sweets and is an ideal natural preservative. Mastic oil is used in medicine, pharmaceuticals, orthodontics and perfumery.

In Crete today there is the largest natural forest with carobs in Europe, the carob forest of the Three Churches. Carob is pleasant to eat raw, because it is sweet, aromatic and crunchy. It is usually used as a substitute for chocolate but has its own unique taste. Although rich in sugars, it has very few calories and fat, while it does not contain gluten or caffeine. It can even replace tea or coffee for those who practice homeopathy. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A, B1, B2 and D. Folk medicine suggests a decoction of crushed carobs for children suffering from bronchitis or whooping cough. The carob honey is a thick liquid produced when carob is boiled. The carob flour produced by grinding carobs. It is a flour with a pleasant, sweet taste that is used to make bread, cookies, cakes and nuts. Preparations with carob flour have an intense dark brown color, like that of chocolate. THE raw carob powder addressed to those who prefer unprocessed foods, and results from the grinding and baking (below 100 degrees) of the dried pods of the carob without its seeds. It can be used in making a recipe that calls for chocolate or cocoa, replacing them with the exact same amount.

THE Kozani saffron it has a deep dark red color and a fairly characteristic to intense smell. It is one of the most well-known cultivated aromatic and medicinal plants in Greece and an important export product. It is marketed as a hygroscopic mass of threads derived from the dried stigmas of the flowers and in powder form, derived from the grinding of the threads. The domestic production of saffron ranks Greece in the top three producing countries worldwide. It is planted in the summer and every fall, the precious stigmas of the flower are removed by hand and carefully dried. About 5000 stigmas are required to produce 100 grams of red yolk. That is why it is one of the most expensive spices in the world and the best quality. The global scientific community considers the Kozani saffron a medicine-treasure for health, as it has been successfully used to treat many diseases: the cardiovascular system, gynecological and ophthalmic diseases, while the latest studies prove its usefulness in combating anxiety, depression, in enhancing memory but also in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

They couldn’t have been the only ones! The continuation in the next article!

Bibliographic source: Superfoods of the Greek Land, Dr. Despina Katsochi

Guide to nutritional therapy, Anna Kanellou


Irini Katrava

Φαγητό,Food,Health, #Greek #Superfoods

❤ XOXO ❤

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