ONE OF THE BASIC CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CRETAN DIET IS THE LARGE CONSUMPTION OF VEGETABLES AND, GENERALLY, PLANT FOODS.
Cretans eat the largest quantities of fruit and vegetables in western world! The consume three times the quantities of fruit and vegetables consumed by other Europeans!
It is another health secret, as they take in a lot of plant fibers in this ways, sufficient amounts of vitamins and other nutrients, which are necessary for the human body. Vegetables are believed to help the function of the digestive system and offer vitamins, which are necessary for the metabolism of certain tissues (like for example Β12, which is necessary for the production of blood). The vegetables consumed in Crete contain the necessary unsaturated fat acids that contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Some of the vegetables of Crete originate from other parts of the world. The most characteristic example is the tomato. According to experts in the history of nutrition, it was rapidly integrated into the Cretan cuisine and became one of its basic ingredients. The tomatoes of Crete contain large quantities of antioxidant substances because the ripen naturally without hormones.
The agricultural products of Crete, cucumbers, courgettes and other vegetables are produced in the fertile plains of the island, where it never snows and the temperatures are warm enough for a lunch in the open air even in the heart of winter . These vegetables are grown near the beaches of the south, in optimal conditions. The swallows never leave these places, as the weather is very mild.
The Cretan farmer is favored by nature, which makes his job easier, on condition he loves his land endlessly. He needs no oil to keep the temperature high because the permanently bright sun is his ally, making the products tasty and fragnant. This is one more secret of the Cretans. They can eat vegetables every day because they enjoy their natural taste and fragnance.
Foreign visitors, who are used to tasteless products which are grown unnaturally, without sunlight, are surprised by the Cretan products. The taste of the Cretan products is surprisingly original and attractive. The early vegetables of Crete are farmed in extensive glasshouses in Ierapetra, Mesara, north Rethymno, in the coastal areas of Selino and Kisamos and elsewhere.