Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
From the Dietitian’s Desk
With Becca Rick, MS, RD
The Greek physician Hippocrates is credited for the saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
When it comes to eating to protect your health and promote longevity, go Greek! The Mediterranean dietary pattern is based on the food culture of Greece, which focuses on plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, olive oil as the main source of fat, and moderate amounts of cheese, yogurt, fish, and poultry. For dessert, history tells us the ancient Greeks enjoyed fruit.
Plant foods, the foundation of Greek meals, offer multiple health benefits because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber. An abundance of these nutrients from a rainbow of different plant foods can help moderate the body’s inflammatory response, prevent damage to cells, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, encourage beneficial bacteria in the gut, and support energy metabolism. Thanks to the power of plants, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, certain cancers, depression, and support better mental and physical function in older adults.
To go Greek, give this simple Greek Salad recipe a try. This recipe uses olive oil, which provides a great option for cooking and seasoning that supports life-long healthy choices.
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Harold McGee. New York, New York, Scribner, 2004.