The Greek cuisine is one of the most historically rich cuisines around the world, with its origins dating back several millennia. However, over time, the cuisine has changed due to absorption of a number of influences like the Turkish cuisine owing to the roughly four centuries of the Ottoman Empire. The Greek cuisine has also had an influence on many cuisines around the world too.
Greek foods form part of the Mediterranean Diet which has attracted a lot of attention over the past two decades as a diet with a lot of health benefits like the increased health of the brain, better heart health due to less cholesterol, controlled blood pressure and many other benefits.
Scientists believe that through a healthy intake of fat, healthy carbohydrates which are at low glycemic index, a lot of fiber presence in the diet, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, the Mediterranean Diet is able to significantly reduce the risk of some of the common ailments that are plaguing us today.
This article takes an exploration into 15 of the Greek foods that are scientifically proven to be healthy. Additionally, the article also provides five tasty and super healthy Greek recipes to try out in order to experience the Greek cuisine in a confidently healthy way.
1. Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon Sauce)
Avgolemono otherwise known as the egg-lemon sauce is a Greek food which is made by mixing broth with egg yolk and lemon juice, then thickened by heating – hence its name. It can be taken as a sauce or as a soup. As a sauce, it can be used for warm stuffed vegetables or dolma, for vegetables and for the dishes which are more stew-like.
As a soup, the lemon juice and egg yolk are mostly mixed with chicken broth although broths from lamb meat, vegetables or fish are also sometimes used. Before the egg and lemon juice mixture is added, rice is cooked in the broth, giving the final food a variation of near stew and nearly soup. Chicken soup has been recommended as a good remedy for flu due to the compound carnosine found in it although it is temporary.
Of particular interest in this food is the combination of eggs and lemons which have been scientifically proven to be very healthy components of the human diet. Eggs for instance act as healthy calorie sources of about 150 kcal/100g, excellent quality source of protein, can be prepared in many different methods and are economically affordable.
Eggs also contain a significant amount of fat-soluble compounds, a property which makes them safe for people of all ages and all stages. They are a highly nutritious and affordable food, providing an amazing amount of 18 vitamins and minerals. Some nutrients found in eggs are very healthy since they protect the human body from a lot of degenerative actions, including the cardiovascular disease.
It has been evidenced by several studies that lemon fruit promotes health and has a lot of phenolic compounds, important oils, fibers, carotenoids, minerals and vitamins. Although not yet proven in humans, studies using Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats have shown that lemon juice has a suppressive effect and crude flavonoid on blood pressure. Amazingly, even the water extract from lemon peels tested on the SHR also showed a suppressive effect on the blood pressure.
Bottom Line: Avgolemono contains eggs and lemons rich in nutrients which have been proven to have good effects on health and mostly important in the control of blood pressure and avoidance of cardiovascular disease.