Hippocrates, the ancient Hellene (Greek) philosopher also known as “Father of Medicine”, knew what he was talking about when he coined that wise phrase. The ancient Hellenes took close care to the food they consumed, well aware of the fact that the food you eat can either be a medicine or a poison to your body.
The ancient Hellenic diet was frugal but diverse, consisting of cereal, legumes, olives, fruits, nuts, and wine. They rarely consumed meat, outside of religious ceremonies, and kept goats for milk and cheese.
To this day, this diet (traditionally referred to as “Mediterranean diet”) is considered the healthiest diet in the world. Rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats it can prevent and protect against numerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The ancient Hellenes included a variety of nutritional gems in their daily diet, most of them cultivated exclusively in Greece, that our modern society would now categorize as superfoods.
The health benefits of these ancient Greek superfoods are so magnificent, it is worth taking a closer look.
Oregano, though an herb used in many cuisines around the world, was originally grown in ancient Hellas. The ancient Hellenes believed it was created by the Goddess Aphrodite, who wanted it to be a symbol of joy growing in her garden. Indeed, the word “oregano” means “joy of the mountains” ( from the Hellenic words oros, for “mountain”, and ganos, for “joy”).
Fresh or dried, oregano has significant health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, oregano can help prevent cell damage and aid in cancer prevention.
Oregano also has powerful antibacterial properties and can help fight viral infections. When consumed as a tea, it can soothe throat irritation, reduce the build-up of mucus and phlegm and suppress coughing fits.
Krokos Kozanis is a variety of red saffron grown in the village of Krokos in Western Macedonia. Like oregano, saffron is a spice with variations cultivated in regions worldwide but was first produced in Greece, specifically in Crete during the Late Bronze Age by the Minoans.
Krokos Kozanis is considered one of the best varieties in the world both in quality and aroma. Rich in vitamin B12, lycopene, zeaxanthin, alpha-beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium it has a wide range of benefits for the body.
Krokos can enhance brain function and memory and it has a beneficial effect on people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Krokos is also considered a natural antidepressant and has a powerful set of anti-aging properties.
Otherwise known as “Nectar of the Gods”, thyme honey was originally sourced from the slopes of Mount Hymettus in the Attica region, near Athens. Both Hippocrates and the Greek philosopher Aristotle praised thyme honey for its nutritional and medicinal properties.
What makes thyme honey so special is the active ingredients thymol and carvacrol, extracted from the oil of thyme. It has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used to heal wounds and prevent infection.
On top of that, regular consumption of thyme honey is found to prevent the progression of cancer in endometrial cells, prostate cells, and breast cells.
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