Horta: The Superfood Greens of Greece

Photo Credit: Mia Kouppa


If you have been to Greece or any Greek restaurant around the world you have heard of the word “horta.” The word horta, which translates to “weeds”, has a broad definition in the modern Greek language that includes every green food that may be consumed from Dandelions, Amaranth (Vlita), Chickory, and Radikia greens.

Many people have pondered the possible attitudes of the ancient Greeks towards plant-based meals. Were they vegetarians in reality? Did they even know about the numerous health advantages of a diet high in greens? Or did these ancient people’s diet actually consist more of meat than it did of plants?

The Ancient Greeks’ nutrition was influenced by a variety of factors in addition to their health and wellbeing. Unknown to many, Pythagoras, an ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher, was the father of vegetarianism. Pythagoras, who is well-known for his theorems in the academic world, was an advocate of a vegetarian lifestyle.

Based on his belief that all animals had souls, Pythagoras and the thousands of people who followed him believed that eating meat was unethical because it causes suffering to animals that, like humans, possess an interior existence of the spirit. There are 1.5 billion vegetarians throughout the world today.

Boiled and refrigerated dandelion, radikia, and vlita greens are delicious with lots of Greek extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, and Greek feta on the side. This traditional Greek food is high in calcium and helps to build bones, which lowers the risk of developing arthritis.

These Greek style greens, which are high in vitamin C, also strengthen our immune systems, lower toxin levels in our bodies, and aid in maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes and hydration. A diet focused on vegetarian dishes from ancient Greece is advantageous for skin health as well because they include antioxidants.

Greens like chicory, dandelions, radikia, and vlita are effective in easing indigestion and help with symptoms of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

This green superfood has even been featured on the Dr. Oz show.



3 thoughts on “Horta: The Superfood Greens of Greece

    1. Thank you Diane! We love all our fabulous followers too! Have a great summer! The Greek Gateway Team

  1. What greens can I use here in the Boston area, my local markets have only a small offering
    Thank you

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