Every week there seems to be a hot new superfood trend. From energy-boosting blueberries to anti-ageing fish oil, the miraculous claims seem to grow more outrageous each year. This is nothing new – it seems that the benefits of superfoods have been boasted about for thousands of years and can be traced all the way back to the ancient Greeks.
Just like how today’s celebs swear by their kale smoothies and chia-seed facials, some of the most famous figures in ancient Greece put their trust in the superpowers of Greek food. According to some of the great myths, the ancient Greeks used herbs from Crete to heal battle wounds, popped almonds to prevent drunkenness and drank beetroot juice to preserve their beauty!
There is actually scientific research behind the mytholoy. For example, recent studies support the medicinal uses of the Cretan herb dittany against various illnesses such as sore throat, cough and gastric ulcers.
It is said that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, drank beetroot juice to retain her beauty. Well, the science suggests that might not be far from the truth! You may have heard about the benefits of beetroot; it’s been part of a huge health and fitness trend in recent years, with research suggesting that beetroot is a promising therapeutic treatment in a range of clinical pathologies associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, beetroot has a high percentage of dietary fibre. One beet contains nine per cent of fibre, so eating three of them is enough to reach your daily fibre intake.
Here’s a slightly less believable superfood trend from the ancient Greeks: physician Dioscorides believed that eating five almonds prior to drinking alcohol would stop you getting drunk! We’re sorry to disappoint you here, but unfortunately the only way to avoid getting drunk is not to drink alcohol. However, almonds have an incredible nutrient profile. They can protect your cells from oxidative damage and can help in lowering your cholesterol levels.
There are additional superfoods consumed today that were part of Greek mythology such as goat’s milk and poppy seeds. To learn more about them, take a look at the animated GIFs that TravelSupermarket have put together with the help of nutritionist and registered UK dietician Katie Peck in order to explain the benefits of these mythological superfoods.