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We associate Greece with wonderful monuments, sun, warm sea, but also cuisine that is not only tasty but also he althy. Why do doctors also praise it? Greek cuisine, due to the richness of vegetables, fish and herbs, as well as the use of olive oil, makes Greeks much less for diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
Research conducted in the USA shows that the Greek island of Crete has the world's lowest incidence rate of coronary heart disease, as well as the highest life expectancy. Hence the belief that Cretan cuisine is one of the he althiest in the world. What's her secret? The Cretan menu has all the features ofGreek cuisine . So let's take a look at them one by one.
Olive oil - the basis of Greek cuisine
In Greece, every meal starts with a doggy bread basket, which the Greeks dip inolive oil . The next salad is also lavishly sprinkled with it. Olive oil is also an ingredient and one of the main spices in sauces and in vegetable, meat and fish dishes. This liquid fat is a source of unsaturated fatty acids that are very beneficial for your he alth. It helps to lower blood pressure, dilates blood vessels, regulates the work of the heart. It also helps in lowering the level of badcholesterol , so it reduces the risk of a heart attack and inhibits the development of atherosclerosis. Olive oil also has a good effect on the digestive system - it strengthens the liver, supports the absorption of vitamins A and E, and prevents gallstone disease. It is rich in antioxidants, so it eliminates the harmful effects of free radicals, and by strengthening cell membranes, it counteracts the aging process. The golden elixir of he alth contains oleic acid, which protects the body against asthma and allergic rhinitis. Therefore, in the Mediterranean countries far fewer people suffer from these ailments than in other European countries.According to an expertTheodoros Vogdanos
Watermelon with feta cheese
saysTheodoros Vogdanos , chef and owner of the Mykonos tavern in Poznań and the el Greco restaurant in Warsaw. Traditional Greek cuisine is in many ways much he althier than Polish cuisine. I found out about it right after coming here, back in the 90s. The first thing that returned mineattention, there was a poor selection of vegetables in the shops. Now, of course, the situation is different, but there are still few vegetables on Polish tables. I was also surprised by the amount of butter used in Polish cuisine - in Greece we use oil for frying (even French fries) and for bread - with fresh oregano. In Poland, meat is eaten very often, while in Greece, especially in summer, it rarely appears on the table. But the biggest difference is in the desserts. There are no creams with cream or butter in Greek cuisine. However, we love extremely sweet and full of dried fruits desserts, sweetened with honey or sugar syrup, such as baklava, and fresh fruit. However, my childhood favorite dessert is watermelon with feta cheese. However, I must admit that Poles eat he althier than Greeks in one respect. Namely, in Greece, we have a habit of going to a restaurant for a sumptuous dinner at 10 or 11 pm.
In Greek cuisine, fish are served in different ways
In Greece, fish - the most popular are sea perch, tuna, mackerel, sea bream and stingrays - are grilled, fried, baked, and they are made into a soup - acania - seasoned with herbs, parsley and garlic. Fatty fish are a source of essential fatty acids, complete protein, minerals (phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, calcium, iodine) and vitamins A and D.
Vegetable abundance in Greek cuisine
Greeks do not treat vegetables as we do - as an addition to meat, but prepare them as starters and main courses. The most popular are legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils and broad beans. As the Greek menu is relatively low in meat, they are the basic source of protein and B vitamins. The Greek table often includes eggplants, courgettes, leeks, peppers and tomatoes.
Only fresh herbs in Greek cuisine
What allows Greeks to conjure up extremely tasty vegetable dishes that affect all the senses is the skillful use of fresh herbs. A great example is savory in Greece, savory, used primarily in soups, salads and legume dishes. Oregano is an extremely valued herb. We can find them in most dishes - from bread, through salads, to vegetable casseroles and baking. Greeks often use parsley to add it to butter, soups, salads and vegetables. Popular herbs also include rosemary, thyme, mint, bay leaves and basil.Important
The most popular wine in Greece, with a slight resin aftertaste. Most often it is white, less often pink or red. They are served very chilled, with fish, seafood or light meat dishes.A glass of wine with dinner aids digestion.
Spicy and s alty cheese, also known as shepherd's cheese, is the original cheese made of sheep's milk, with the addition of goat. Feta is an excellent ingredient in vegetable salads, stuffing and casseroles. It contains 6 times more calcium than our cottage cheese, so it protects against osteoporosis.
Dessert in Greek cuisine is he althy and low in calories
Usually high in calories and of little value, but not in Greece. After lunch, the Greeks go for fruits - watermelons, peaches, melons, apricots and citrus. In addition to fruit, the most popular dessert is Greek yogurt with honey, sometimes served with nuts. It has a characteristic sweet and sour taste that amazes the masses of tourists visiting Greece. It is difficult to recreate outside this country due to the lack of authentic ingredients. It's a pity, because it is not only tasty, but also rich in calcium, and thanks to honey also in bactericidal inhibition.