Traditionally, Greeks eat foods that are in season and follow a somewhat relaxed and unhurried approach to mealtimes. Greeks are, though, very serious about their traditional foods, and they can hardly change their dietary habits when it comes to dishes such as Greek Salad, as they consider it both delicious and healthy.
Greek Salad is the focal point of the Mediterranean diet
Greek salad is based on several fresh vegetables, each one of which is very healthy and provides our bodies with all necessary nutrients. In order to make a good and healthy Greek Salad, you need to use fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, peppers, feta cheese and comprehensive amount of olive oil and herbs. A healthy salad with these ingredients can be put together in just a few minutes and it’s a perfect starter – or whole meal for some people – all year long.
Tomatoes are considered the best antioxidants, among the fresh veggies. They contain lycopene, which is powerful antioxidant, blocking the effects of several carcinogenic chemicals of the body and mopping up free radicals. The high amounts of anti oxidants, found in tomatoes, are associated with anti-aging process and provide extra protection against diseases such as neurological and mental diseases, or cancer.
Onions on the other hand, are known to balance pressure in blood and they have been used in the countries of the Mediterranean Sea as means to increase lean muscle mass. They contain some natural components associated with anti-cholesterol and anti-inflammatory properties; cucumber and peppers on the other hand are also rich in veggie proteins and vitamins, and contain a great deal of minerals necessary to our bodies, such as magnesium, calcium and zinc. Feta cheese provides the necessary proteins and calcium and helps us maintain good cholesterol levels.
Olive Oil, the cornerstone of a healthy Greek salad
The cornerstone and main ingredient of a healthy Greek Salad is of course olive oil, the cradle of life for the Mediterranean people. The typical dressing for a fresh Greek Salad is as fundamental and uncomplicated as the salad itself; Greeks usually dress the salad with a dousing of olive oil and herbs. The oil they use is local, green, grassy, perfectly pressed. The dousing is not timid either.
Olive oil is the base of the Mediterranean Diet, as Greeks tend to avoid margarines and butters when cooking; olive oil contains monosaturated fats which are healthy and can reduce the risk of heart diseases and cholesterol. Olive oil is also rich in chemicals that alleviate pain, and researches prove that half liter of olive oil contains the same amount of pain relieving chemicals as iboprufen, but in a much more natural way.
The goods for a Greek salad are a choice of fresh pickings; a healthy Greek salad depends on whatever is fully ripe and crisp in the marked; therefore make sure that you choose only fresh products for your salad. Cut veggies in slices, drizzle over some olive oil and enjoy your Healthy Greek Salad with a few slices of wholemeal bread.