How to Eat and Cook Like the Ancient Greeks

January 18, 2019

The ancient Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates, penned that “all diseases begin in the gut,” and that for true healing and optimum health, we need to exercise, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and understand that the “natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”

The word “diet” comes from the ancient Greek “diaita,” which means “the way of life.” In ancient Greece, a diet was about good health, which required the nurturing of the mind, body, and soul. One component of that was food. The ancient Greeks also noted the link between the gut and emotional health.

Below is some ancient Greek wisdom for taking care of your gut and boosting the immune system for overall good health.

Eat Wholesome, High Vibrational Energy Food

The ancient Greek Hippocratic way of healing was “wisdom healing:” using food and other methods to nourish the mind, body, and soul. It is important to eat an abundance of food that is good for our gut health and our immune system and to keep to a minimum or avoid all foods that are not.

Cook and eat ingredients and foods with high vibrational energy, meaning ones that are nutrient-rich. These include fresh, certified organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs; herbal teas; spices; spring water; nuts and seeds; healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil; legumes and whole grains; and natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.

Eat raw, dehydrated, or lightly steamed foods whenever possible, and incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Hippocrates believed that most diseases began in the gut, and called fermented foods “probiotic,” meaning “for life” in Greek. In ancient times, doctors prescribed sour milk, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and pickles for digestion. The ancient Greeks also used sauerkraut to treat and prevent intestinal infections.

Keep to a minimum or avoid low-vibrational energy foods and ingredients. These include genetically modified food; food that has been treated with chemicals and pesticides; white rice and flours; sugars and artificial sweeteners (unhealthy bacteria thrives on sugar); sodas; alcohol; meat; fish and poultry; processed, packaged, canned, and fast foods; unhealthy oils such as canola, soybean, and cottonseed oils; margarine and lard; frozen foods; pasteurized cow’s milk; yogurt and cheese; and cooked foods that are deep-fried and microwaved. If you eat meat, make sure it is organic, or at the very least grass-fed and grass-finished.

Eat a Rainbow of Seasonal Food

“Everything in its time and mackerel in August.” —Greek proverb

Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season for optimum nutrition. Eat a variety of colors—color heals.

Orange and yellow foods help reduce age-related macular degeneration and lower cholesterol. Examples include yellow peppers, oranges, carrots, and lemons.

Red foods, including strawberries, tomatoes, red grapes, and raspberries, help lower blood pressure, improve heart function, and support joints.

Green foods, such as green herbs and leafy vegetables, help detoxify the body and aid digestion.

Blue and purple foods, like blueberries, purple grapes, and pomegranates, help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

White foods, including garlic, bananas, white onions, and mushrooms, help boost the immune system and balance hormones.

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