Cretan diet is to a very large extent plant-based, containing a great repertoire of fresh salads and cooked dishes merely based on vegetables. Regular consumption of vegetables is proven to result in longer and better life as it reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as strokes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. These amazing properties are due to the fact that vegetables are extremely rich in fibers, low in calories and contain significant amounts of A, C and E vitamins as well as folate and potassium. Consumption of vegetables lowers cholesterol, controls blood pressure (effect of potassium) and some even argue that results in stress release.
Examples of vegetables that are widely used in Cretan cooking (and also as raw ingredients in salads) are: tomatoes (“domates”), green beans (“fasolakia prasina”), string beans (“abelofasoula”), okra (“bamies”), peas (“arakas”), aubergines (“melitzanes”), courgettes (“kolokithia”), peppers (“piperies”), artichokes (“aginares”), cauli flowers (“kounoupidia”), broccolis (“brokola”), garlics (“skorda”) and onions (“kremidia”).