The Cretan diet and the secret of longevity

Besides the ever increasing number of healthy diets that spread like wildfire among the healthy-minded crowds, the Mediterranean diet is still widely recognized as one of the healthiest. Among its many variations, Crete’s cuisine reigns supreme, containing an unparalleled combination of precious nutrients such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that provide long-lasting health benefits, with delicious flavours that make it taste too enjoyable to be considered a diet. For centuries, Cretans have kept the secret to their life-prolonging regime, the Cretan diet, through mouth-watering recipes while making ingenious use of local ingredients and passing them from mother to daughter, from friend to guest and from heart to heart.

Due to its gentle climate, Crete nurtures a green landscape full of highly nutritious indigenous hortas (wild greens) and olive trees as far as one can see.

It is the combination of this Cretan olive oil, rich in anti-oxidative agents, with the untainted fresh vegetables and the earthy pulses, which contributes to the longevity of the island’s inhabitants. On a warm summer day, you will find the open markets of Crete overflowing with such local treasures, from delicious plump tomatoes to extra juicy oranges and native aromatic herbs. Those incredibly nutritional and wholesome ingredients make up the core of the Cretan diet, providing dietary fibre and essential vitamins to complement the lean protein and other essential nutrients that come from velvety local cheeses and select meats, fish and seafood.

Simplicity and generosity lie in the heart of the Cretan cuisine. For a traditional Cretan meal, dishes are prepared with only the freshest and purest ingredients and served in copious amounts. Alongside those healthful meals, a glass (or two) of Cretan wine is an essential complement as Cretans embrace fully its health benefits. And to top them all, a generous, warm welcome is extended to all guests, to delight in the exquisite taste and nutritive value of Crete’s miraculous diet!