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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 August 2018
12 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 AUGUST 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Eat well - live long Greek island recipes that will help you control your weight and live a long, healthy life NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU Hellenic cuisine has been A Mediterranean diet, specifically a traditional Greek diet is famous for providing all the right nutrients for a long and healthy life. The Cretan way of life has been praised many a time by researchers, Cypriot cuisine is among the healthiest, Lesvos offers an abundance of Asia Minor and Aegean flavours, while Ikaria holds the secrets to longevity and a stress-free life. receiving considerable attention for years, with Ikaria recently entering the Blue Zone —a region of the world where people tend to live unusually long and healthy lives, often past the age of 100. Unlocking the mysteries of such a life does not come without sacrifice, however; Greeks have come up with the most imaginative combinations of fresh ingredients that can make anyone's taste buds explode. A traditional Greek diet is usually non-meat based with minimal intake of high-fat and high-sugar processed foods. Greek cuisine is an ode to legumes, vegetables, rice, veggies, nuts, and herbs, olive oil and wholemeal grains. People living in the villages on Crete, Lesvos, Ikaria and in Cyprus are often forced to become self-sufficient, with the great majority of the population relying on local produce instead of heavily processed foods. Islanders consume fish more than twice a week on average, receiving valuable protein and oils not to mention improving kidney function. Members of small communities support each other still exchanging home grown or organic products, locally caught fish and scarcely consume meat that is usually home or farm grown. This diet, combined with moderate exercise and enough rest, is proven to prevent wight gain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Compared to other ethnicities or urban centre residents, people living in those areas, with Ikaria topping the list, live significantly longer, stress and disease free lives. A beer or a glass of wine (sometimes two) are not missing from the daily menu; Greek coffee, herbal beverages are a tradition intertwined with Greece's food culture, complimenting a diet and not overtaking it. Meanwhile, greens like spinach and zucchini are very common, often combined with fresh herbs like mint, parsley, coriander, oregano, basil and dill that have antioxidant and diuretic effects. When consumed as a beverage, mint, alongside rosemary, marjoram, sage, mountain tea and dandelion can be anti-inflammatory and help alleviate IBS, colds and allergy symptoms. In an effort to reintroduce a healthy diet into our jampacked every day, we dug up some easy-to-cook but very tasty healthy recipes, inspired by those very areas: Crete, Lesvos, Ikaria and Cyprus.
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