There’s no denying that Greek food is delicious, but taste isn’t the only reason behind its popularity. Apart from being full of flavor, Greek food is healthy as well, which is inextricably linked to the fact that the Greeks live longer and have lower rates of chronic diseases compared to other countries. But what are the elements that make Greek food healthy, and what are the healthiest Greek foods you can incorporate into your diet? Keep reading to find out!
Greece is known for its wholesome food, which is based on centuries of tradition. One of the main elements of traditional Greek cuisine is that it heavily relies on fresh and seasonal ingredients, ensuring the optimal nutritional value of the food -that’s what makes all the difference!
Based on the Mediterranean diet, the traditional Greek diet is the key to longevity and wellness. That’s because it is filled with greens, vegetables, seeds, herbs, legumes, nuts, and healthy fats, which offer an abundance of essential nutrients. Paliria’s ready meals contain all these key ingredients, preserving their freshness and encapsulating the flavors of authentic Greek cuisine!
Greek food isn’t just delicious! It is actually good for you and has numerous health benefits, the most important of which are that it:
What’s great about Greek food is that it seamlessly combines flavor with numerous health benefits! The freshness of the ingredients used in traditional recipes is one of the most important factors that make traditional Greek cuisine so healthy. Some of the most delicious healthy Greek foods are:
Greek cuisine heavily relies on vegetables with wild greens being a very popular choice among locals. In fact, it’s very unlikely that you will find a Greek tavern that doesn’t serve boiled wild greens (horta) with lemon, along with other appetizers. However, wild greens aren’t just tasty; they are also super healthy, as they contain high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin K, just like all leafy greens!
One of the most beloved Greek dishes, dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves) is a scrumptious appetizer! Vine leaves are low in calories and high in nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin K, while they contain abundant antioxidants and fiber. Their stuffing typically consists of rice and several spices and herbs, like parsley and dill, which are rich in vitamins with many health benefits, including the improvement of digestive health and the prevention of blood clot formation.
Fluffy and flavorful, zucchini balls are one of the most popular appetizers of Greek cuisine! Beyond their rich flavor though, they offer an array of health benefits, thanks to the zucchini and the herbs they contain. Full of antioxidants that protect the immune system, fiber that supports healthy digestion, and B vitamins that help maintain a healthy nervous system, they are much more than a mouthwatering local delicacy!
Chickpeas are another staple of traditional Greek cuisine and are used in numerous recipes throughout the mainland and the islands! But, their rich flavor isn’t the only reason why chickpeas are so popular; they also have a ton of nutritional value, making them an integral part of the Greek diet. Thanks to the nutrients they contain, they help manage blood sugar, support gut health, and protect against cardiovascular diseases!
Extra virgin olive oil is the cornerstone of the Greek diet, as it is used in practically every dish as a substitute for butter. Rich in monounsaturated fats, olive oil offers numerous health benefits, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowering bad cholesterol levels, and preventing diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance. Just a drizzle of olive oil on your food is enough to reap its benefits!
Tomato balls are a delicious appetizer, which you can savor mainly in the Greek islands every summer when tomatoes are in season. As their name suggests, the main ingredient of tomato balls is tomato, a vegetable with countless vital nutrients. From supporting heart health and protecting against dementia to balancing blood sugar and promoting healthy skin, tomatoes have many health benefits.
Bean soup is one of the most hearty and nutritious Greek foods! Apart from beans, this delicious soup also contains several local herbs, spices, and tomato sauce made of fresh Greek tomatoes. However, its main ingredient, beans, is packed with beneficial nutrients, including protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, folate, and fiber, which are essential for our health.
Greek cuisine is arguably one of the healthiest and yummiest in the world! So, are you ready to incorporate these delicious Greek foods into your diet and enrich your meals with flavor, enjoying numerous health benefits?