Flavonoids: Are you eating enough berries and onions for healthy aging?

LESLIE BECK – Published Monday, Nov. 03 2014, 2:52 PM EST

If oranges, apples, berries and onions – foods rich in flavonoids – aren’t part of your regular diet, consider adding them to your menu. According to researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, doing so will help you remain healthy, mentally sharp and physically active when you’re older. For women, at least.

he-aging-cranberries03lf1Flavonoids are bioactive compounds found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, tea, chocolate and red wine. The 4,000-plus different flavonoids found in foods can be divided into subclasses; those we most commonly consume include anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones and flavanones.

The many benefits attributed to a flavonoid-rich diet include a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers as well as better cognitive performance.

For the study, published last week in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers set out to determine if women who consumed plenty of flavonoids in their 50s maintained good health and well-being in their 70s. Among 13,818 women, those who consumed the most – versus the least – flavonoids at midlife had significantly greater odds of being a “healthy ager,” even after accounting for diet quality, physical activity, smoking, education and family history.

Women were considered healthy agers if, at aged 70 or older, they were free of major chronic diseases (including cancer, heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis) and had no cognitive impairment, physical disabilities or mental-health problems. The remaining women were classified as “usual agers.”

When it came to food sources of flavonoids, a regular intake of oranges and onions (at least five servings a week versus less than one per month) was linked to a greater likelihood of healthy aging. Eating berries at least twice a week compared with less than once was also protective.

As powerful antioxidants, flavonoids do their work in the body by preventing damage caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that can harm cells. Cumulative free radical damage is implicated in aging, memory decline, depression and many chronic diseases.

Flavonoids also decrease inflammation, relax blood vessels and help prevent blood clots that could lead to heart attack or stroke. As well, flavonoids have been shown to activate the brain’s natural house-cleaning process, helping remove toxins and other compounds that can interfere with cognitive function.

A flavonoid-rich diet may help you live more healthily as you age, but other foods are important, too. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, the best sources of antioxidants, has consistently been tied to good health. While many fruits and vegetables deliver flavonoids, many are also excellent sources of other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and beta-carotene.

Include 7 to 10 servings (combined) in your daily diet. One serving is equivalent to one medium-sized fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit or berries, ¼ cup dried fruit (unsweetened), ½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables, one cup of salad greens or ½ cup of 100-per-cent vegetable or fruit juice. (Limit intake of fruit juice to one serving a day.)

Oily fish, flax and chia seeds, avocado, walnuts, pecans, cashews hazelnuts, olives and olive oil contain healthy fats that dampen inflammation, a major contributor to age-related disease.

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How to choose a good table olive

Featured-Image1Learn these important points on how to choose a good table olive

Olives are one of those unique foods that don’t only taste delicious, but also offer many health benefits. It is however important to learn how to choose a good table olive, since they vary extensively in appearance, flavour and texture.

We asked the South African Olive Industry Association how to choose a good table olive. Here are a few pointers:

How to choose a good olive1. Looks
The first characteristic to take important notice of is of course the appearance of the olive. The olive must always looks physically appealing and it must make you want to eat it immediately. Physical defects are not good.

2. Aroma
Next important point is smell. A good olive will always smell great. The aroma will give a good indication of how the processing was managed as most of the volatile components are a result of the fermentation process. If not fermented, the aroma is usually that of the added ingredients, like garlic, herbs and various other flavourings. An off-fermentation will be noticeable on the nose, and any off-odour is totally unacceptable in quality table olives.

3. Taste
Right so now we get to the taste. As with anything, taste and flavour are very subjective, so we always suggest that newbies to olives start with a blander product, just like they start new wine drinkers with a sweeter wine. Once hooked on these little delicacies, then move onto products with more flavour, the natural olive flavour in particular. A fully fermented table olive should display a balance between the natural flavour of the fruit, the natural lactic acid and the added salt and vinegar.

4. Texture
A good table olive should have a degree of firmness in the flesh, without being tough or woody. The skin should not be too tough and the flesh should detach from the pit quite easily. The texture is determined by many factors, but most importantly is when the olives are harvested and cultivated. The methods of processing play an important role, which can either maintain the texture of the olive or compromise it.

5. Final tip
It’s important to experience as many different styles and flavours as possible and in so doing, build up a profile of the olives you like.

For more information please visit www.saolive.co.za or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SaOliveIndustryAssociation 

How AGE affects our taste in food: We only start liking olives, anchovies and blue cheese in our twenties, survey reveals

Survey: People are 22 on average before they enjoy strong-tasting foods
People start tolerating garlic at 19 but are 28 before they eat goats cheese
Previous research explains we lose taste buds as we get older, meaning we can tolerate stronger and complex tasting food

Sophisticated adults love to dine on olives, blue cheese and anchovies – but many hated these foods as a child. Now, experts have discovered the ‘gastronomic watershed’ – the age at which we start to like ‘grown-up foods’. A survey discovered the average person is aged 22 when they start to appreciate more complex, stronger flavours like goats cheese, chilli sauce and avocado. The research identified 20 foods we are unlikely to enjoy until we hit our late teens and early 20s.

bluecheese

olives stuffed

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The average person is aged 22 when they start to appreciate more complex, stronger flavours like goats cheese, olives and anchovies, a survey has revealed.

Previously, scientists have theorised our changing tastes are due to how the number of taste buds in our mouths declines with age. Babies are born with innate cravings for sweet things, as our mother’s milk is packed with sugar and fat. Infants have around 30,000 tastebuds in their mouths, so strong tastes will be much more intense for a child. This explains why nursery food is so bland and why children might find strong tasting foods overpowering. By the time we become adults, only a third of these taste buds remain, mostly on our tongues. This explains why we can then tolerate and enjoy stronger tastes.  According the survey, many of us find it difficult to appreciate the taste of strong tasting fish like mackerel during childhood and even throughout our teen years. And mature cheeses fared no better, with most people aged 21 before they appreciated parmesan and aged 22 before they liked to eat blue cheese. Similarly, most people didn’t appreciate a spicy curry until their late teens. Unsurprisingly a host of vegetables featured high up on the list, with spinach and peppers both beginning to appeal to our taste buds at the age of 21. Chilli sauce, gherkins, garlic and horseradish sauce featured in the list of 20 ‘grown-up’ foods, as did kidney beans. But goats cheese proved to be the most disliked childhood flavour, with the average person not fully appreciating it until they hit 28. Other flavours that failed to please our palate during our younger years were olives, which we only begin to enjoy at the ripe old age of 25, and oysters, a taste we acquire at 24. The survey asked 1,950 British adults about which foods they hated as a child but now find delicious.

Overall the stats show that despite the majority of us finally embracing the full range of tastes and flavours by the time we reach our 20s, there are likely to still be two foods on average we still refuse to eat as adults. The research also revealed that school meals play a major part in helping us form early opinions of foods and tastes we then form an opinion of through life. The data showed one in three adults has eaten food they didn’t like for fear of upsetting the host. More than one in ten have done so during a meal at the in-laws, while business lunches and dinners with friends or close family have also led to people having to ‘grin and bear it’. The most common situation in which we begin to enjoy a food we disliked in the past is during meals with friends. Trying new foods on holiday and meeting someone who has a broader knowledge of foods and flavours were also given as reasons. Nutritional Therapist Karen Poole explained: ‘Our relationship with food develops at a very early age and can affect how we eat and what we eat throughout our lifetime. ‘Our tastebuds are the initial way we learn to recognise food as either friend or foe and bitter or strong foods can often be a warning to leave well alone, and later on determine what we like and what we are happy to avoid. ‘Biologically, as we age, the rate of renewal and regeneration of our tastebuds slows down and the overall number is reduced and this may also influence our reaction to certain foods and make stronger tastes more interesting and enjoyable. ‘Its natural as we grow up to broaden our horizons across many fields so there are many external factors also that contribute to people becoming more adventurous at these particular ages’. The survey was carried out by Butterkist.

(Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Health benefits of eating olives

Did you know that eating olives have a vast number of health benefits. Here are just a few

Not only does olives taste delicious, but it also offers many health benefits for you. We chatted to the South African Olive Industry Association and asked them for some interesting olive health facts. Here are a few:

  • 464624329Olives eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood.
  • Olives control blood pressure.
  • Olives are a source of dietary fibre as an alternative to fruits and vegetables.
  • Olives are a great source of Vitamin E
  • Olives act as an antioxidant, protecting cells.
  • Olives reduce the effects of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, benign and malignant tumours, including less serious varicose veins and cavities.
  • Olives help prevent blood clots that could lead to a myocardial infarction or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Olives protects cell membranes against diseases like cancer.
  • Olives are a great protection against anaemia.
  • Olives enhances fertility and reproductive system.
  • Olives play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, especially during oxidative stress and chronic viral diseases.
  • And just in case these benefits weren’t enough they are also a great aphrodisiac.
  • Olives are nutritious and rich in mineral content as sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine.
  • Olives provide essential vitamins and amino acids.
  • Olives contain oleic acid, which has beneficial properties to protect the heart.
  • Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemical that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. So by eating a daily serving of olives helps improve your memory by up to 25%.
  • Just one cup of olives is a great source of iron – 4.4mg.
  • Eating olives can improve the appearance of wrinkles by 20% since they contain oleic acid, which keeps skin soft and healthy.
  • By eating just 10 olives before a meal, you can reduce your appetite by up to 20%. This is because the monounsaturated fatty acids contained in olives slow down the digestion process and stimulate the hormone cholecystokinin, a hormone that sends messages of fullness to the brain. Not only does it do that, but it also helps your body to stimulate the production of adiponectin, a chemical that burns fat for up to five hours after ingestion.

For more information please visit www.saolive.co.za or find us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SaOliveIndustryAssociation

(Source: https://www.destinyconnect.com)

Olives can enliven a host of dishes

How extra virgin olive oil can help our bones?

The incidence of osteoporosis and associated fractures is found to be lower in countries where the Mediterranean diet is predominant. These observations might be mediated by the active constituents of olive oil and especially phenolic compounds.

aceiteThe intake of olive oil has been related to the prevention of osteoporosis in experimental and in in vitro models. Very few prospective studies have evaluated the effects of olive oil intake on circulating osteocalcin (OC) in humans.

The objective of the study led by Spanish researchers was to examine the longitudinal effects of a low-fat control diet (n = 34), a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts (MedDiet+nuts, n = 51), or a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil (MedDiet+VOO, n = 42) on circulating forms of OC and bone formation markers in elderly men at high cardiovascular risk.

Consumption of a Mediterranean diet enriched with virgin olive oil for 2 years is associated with increased serum osteocalcin and P1NP concentrations, suggesting protective effects on bone.

Age-related bone mass loss and decreased bone strength is an almost invariable feature of human biology, affecting women and men alike as an important determinant of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Nutritional factors are known to be involved in age-related bone loss associated with osteoblast insufficiency during continuous bone remodeling, in interaction with a combination of genetic, metabolic, and hormonal factors.

Epidemiological studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean basin. The traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, with a high intake of olives and olive products, mainly olive oil, could be one of the environmental factors underlying this difference.

Some reports have suggested that the consumption of olives, olive oil, and oleuropein, an olive oil polyphenol, can prevent the loss of bone mass in animal models of aging-related osteoporosis. Recent in vitro studies have shown that oleuropein, the main phenolic compound in olive leaves and fruit and a constituent of virgin olive oil, reduced the expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor-γ, inhibiting adipocyte differentiation and enhancing differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts. In addition, the gene expression of osteoblastogenesis markers, runt-related transcription factor II, osterix, collagen type I, alkaline phosphatase, and osteocalcin, was higher in osteoblast-induced oleuropein-treated cells.

A protective effect of olive oil and oleuropein has also been observed in experimental models. Femoral failure load and diaphyseal bone mineral density were increased after consumption of oleuropein and olive oil in ovariectomized mice. In addition to its role as bone marker, osteocalcin has also been related to glucose homeostasis. Mice lacking osteocalcin displayed decreased β-cell proliferation, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance when compared with wild-type mice. We are unaware of studies evaluating the effects of olive oil on circulating osteocalcin and its possible relationship with insulin secretion/resistance in humans. The objective of this study was to explore circulating bone formation and resorption markers in association with the intake of olive oil. For comparison, we also studied the effects of consuming nuts and the effects of a low-fat diet.

Published evidence suggests that olive oil phenols can be beneficial by preventing the loss of bone mass. It has been demonstrated that they can modulate the proliferative capacity and cell maturation of osteoblasts by increasing alkaline phosphatase activity and depositing calcium ions in the extracellular matrix. Further research on this issue is warranted, given the prevalence of osteoporosis and the few data available on the action of olive oil on bone.

by T N

(Source: http://www.teatronaturale.com)

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Olive Oil Improves Heart Health

By ISABEL PUTINJA on November 22, 2014

Regular consumption of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t follow a Mediterranean diet, according to a new European study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Regular consumption of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t follow a Mediterranean diet, according to a new European study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Regular consumption of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t follow a Mediterranean diet, according to a new European study published in The American Journal of Clinical A pan-European team of researchers from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), University of Lisbon (Portugal), Instituto de Biologia Experimental Tecnologica, Oeiras (Portugal) and private firm Mosaiques Diagnostics (Germany) examined the effects of phenols, which are natural compounds produced by plants and found in olives, on the heart health of 69 volunteers as part of the study.
SEE MORE: The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
The volunteers, who were in good health and not regular consumers of olive oil, were divided into two groups and given 20ml (0.67 US Oz) of olive oil either high, or low, in phenols every day for a period of six weeks.Nutrition on November 19, 2014.

(Source/Read more: http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-news/olive-oil-improves-heart-health/42870)

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Oysters, olives, sprouts, liver: The foods we love to hate are good for us, says experts

An expert dietician reveals the top 10 items which are worth giving another try and suggests ways to help overcome your aversions

BROCCOLI
This much abused vegetable contains many nutrients such as folate, vitamins A, C and K, plus calcium.
Broccoli is also high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant considered to be protective against cancer as well as helpful in protecting the eyes from macular degeneration. TIP: Mash with potato, sprinkle a few florets on a pizza or add to a cheese sauce. Stir fry with linguine and prawns and a little soy or garlic sauce.healthy-eating-539826OYSTERSThese shellfish are bursting with vitamin C and zinc, boosting the immune system and helping wounds heal.

They are also low in calories so are a great starter when eating out.

Oysters have a salty taste but it’s the unusual, chewy texture that often upsets sensitive palates. Traditionally they are served raw with lemon, Tabasco or a little shallot vinaigrette. TIP: Grill lightly or bake rather than eating raw. Alternatively add a few to a stew.

OLIVES

High in healthy monounsaturated oils, olives are an important part of the Mediterranean diet which is associated with reduced heart disease and living a long life.

The bitter taste associated with olives comes from oleocanthal, a plant compound which is considered to be an anti–inflammatory.

TIP: Start with sweeter varieties, mash to make a tasty dip or opt for olives stuffed with peppers or lemon.
SPINACH
This leafy green has a slightly bitter and metallic taste due to its high iron content.It is this iron which helps produce the red blood cells responsible for keeping oxygen flowing around the body.Spinach is also packed with vitamin K which is necessary for blood clotting and also good for bone health. Other phytonutrients found in spinach are thought to protect against breast and prostate cancer.TIP: Use a big bunch for juicing with other vegetables and an apple for a touch of sweetness. Lightly steamed spinach tends to have a milder taste than boiled. Eat fresh in salads or sprinkle with olive oil and sesame seeds.

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Mediterranean Diet | Olives

Though we may not like to admit it, obesity, heart disease, and our health in general is most definitely linked to our diets. What we eat not only affects how we feel, grow, and live, it also affects the expression of certain negative genetic traits (3)(4)(5).

So when the Mediterranean diet began making the rounds in the health and diet world, it immediately caught my attention. Could a traditional diet increase vitality, health, and lower the risk of heart disease or other medical conditions? Do we now have a reason to eat more Greek salads, olives and hummus?

med2In 2008, a meta-analysis of 12 studies, with a total of 1,574,299 subjects was published in the BMJ (6). The researchers carefully and systematically analyzed 12 studies with cohorts from the Mediterranean and elsewhere around the world and studied the effects of adhering to a Mediterranean diet. Their primary goal was to investigate the relationship between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and mortality and chronic diseases.

The results were excellent if you’re fond of tabouleh and red cabbage. The meta-analysis found that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant improvement in overall health: 9 percent reduction in overall mortality, 9 percent reduction in mortality from cardiovascular diseases, 6 percent reduction in incidence of or mortality from cancer, and a 13 percent reduction in incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These numbers are big news and further support a Mediterranean diet as a form of primary prevention of major chronic illnesses.

For those who are new to the Mediterranean diet, here’s a quick snapshot of what it includes (7): vegetables (broccoli, pumpkin, beets, arugula, artichokes), fruits (apples, apricots, avocados, peaches, oranges, pomegranates), olives and olive oil, nuts, beans, legumes, yogurt, fish and shellfish (shrimp, squid, mackerel, mussels, octopus, sardines, oysters), eggs, meats (in smaller portions), and a glass of red wine a day.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)

Robin’s Rescue: 7 low-carb, meat-free, easy meals

Robin Miller, Special for the Republic12:38 p.m. MST October 29, 2014

Quinoa pilaf with olives, pine nuts and feta: Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package instructions. While still warm, add 1 cup diced fresh tomato, 1/2cup pitted and sliced kalamata (Greek) olives, 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts, 1/4cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1teaspoon Dijon mustard. Add the mixture to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon the quinoa mixture into bowls and top with crumbled feta cheese.

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Lentils and couscous with garlic-wilted spinach and Parmesan: Cook 2cups of lentils according to the package instructions. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2-3 cloves minced garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add 5 ounces of baby spinach leaves and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach wilts. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and add the spinach, 11/2cups cooked whole-wheat couscous, 1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Toss to combine, adding a little more olive oil if necessary to keep mixture moist. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into bowls and top with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.

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Roasted beetroot tart with thyme, olives and Parmesan recipe

If you can’t find beetroot still with the leaves on, a couple of handfuls of spinach is a worthy alternative. I like to use the pretty pink candy cane beetroots for this recipe, but the deep red ones are also perfect. (SERVES 4-6)

INGREDIENTS
tartbeetroot_3042888b180g/6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
120g/4½oz cold butter, cut into cubes
6 medium beetroots, leaves reserved
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
3 bay leaves
Olive oil
2 handfuls of small black olives, destoned
150g/5oz crème fraîche
3 tbsp grated Parmesan or pecorino, plus extra to finish
1 egg yolk, beaten

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/gas 6. Make the pastry first by mixing the flour and the cold butter in a large bowl and rubbing them together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of cold water until the pastry just comes together. Gather together into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the beetroots into ½cm-thick rounds. Place in a bowl with the garlic, thyme and bay and season well. Add a few generous glugs of oil and mix well with your hands. Cover a baking tray in foil and lightly oil. Spread out the beetroot in an even layer, then add a few splashes of water, then place in the oven for 10 minutes until just cooked.

Place the beetroot leaves in a pan with a few splashes of water, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat until wilted, then scoop out and leave to cool and drain on kitchen paper.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and on a lightly dusted surface, roll it out to a thickness of ½cm – the edges can be quite rough. Transfer to a large flat baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden, then remove and leave to cool.

When cool, scatter the cooked beetroot, its leaves and the olives over the pastry. In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, Parmesan and egg yolk and season with a little salt and pepper. Dollop over the tart, making sure the tart is nicely covered, then dust the entire tart in a little Parmesan. Place in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the crème fraîche is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Here’s the skinny on good fats

You can’t lose weight and stay fit simply by removing fat from your diet. But you can give your body fats that are more beneficial to your health.

WOULD ALL OF our weight loss problems be solved if we just removed fat from our diets? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Fats are a vital part of a healthy diet, providing essential fatty acids, assisting in absorbing vitamins A, D & E, and acting as a great source of energising fuel. But it’s easy to get confused about what constitutes good fats and bad.

Here’s the skinny on fats: There are many different types of fats and they can be conveniently divided into four main categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats. A balanced diet should contain a good mix of fats while avoiding trans fats all together.

Monounsaturated fats

This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils like olives, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter and avocados.

delicious pb

PB (no J).

Source: Shutterstock.

Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also produce nutrients that assist in developing and maintaining the body’s cells.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Foods high in polyunsaturated fats include soybean oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout.

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Flaked tuna and olives, a great way to boost your monounsaturates and polyunsaturates in one sitting.

Source: Shutterstock.

In addition to reducing your bad cholesterol levels, polyunsaturated fats contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which boost brain function and may strengthen the immune system.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are contained naturally in many foods including fat on lamb, fatty beef, poultry with skin, full fat dairy products and take away foods. At SMART Training we suggest that clients limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories. We suggest trimming visible fat from meat or removing the skin from chicken or swapping butter for sunflower or olive spread.

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Olive LEAF may be the key to heart health, say experts, as drink using the ingredient launches in Britain

 

By JENNY HOPE FOR THE DAILY MAIL (

1408747913221_Image_galleryImage_OVIVO_Organic_Olive_Leaf_Forget the health benefits of olives and olive oil – the latest boost to wellbeing is the humble olive leaf. It was once a folk remedy revered by the Greeks, while ancient Egyptians used it for mummifying royalty. But a drink made from olive leaf extract – taken from freshly picked Italian organic olive leaves – is the first health supplement of its kind to be launched in Britain. A new scientific review in the journal Complete Nutrition shows it contains two antioxidant compounds known to support heart health that are among the most potent yet discovered.

Oleuropein, a polyphenol produced by the olive tree, makes it particularly robust and resistant against insect and bacterial damage. The other compound hydroxytyrosol, is thought to be a major ingredient of virgin olive oil – one of the cornerstones of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Although it is found in olives and olive oil, the highest concentrations occur in the leaf. The 5mg dose contained in a serving of Ovivo Organic Leaf Infusion with Calendula has been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as having antioxidant activity. Dr Pamela Mason, chair of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, suggests the combination of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein may hold the key to many of the health benefits associated with olives and the Mediterranean diet.

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Both have powerful antioxidant activity and have been shown to reduce the oxidation of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol – the process that makes it hazardous to health. A study found a twice-a-day 500mg dose of olive extract was as effective as an ACE inhibitor at reducing both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Unlike the prescription-only blood pressure pill, the extract also significantly lowered levels of triglycerides, blood fats linked to heart problems. Another trial investigating the impact of olive leaf extract on blood sugar control reported a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity after just 12 weeks. The review also included a study in patients with type 2 diabetes which showed improved insulin levels and lower levels of a marker linked to a greater risk of diabetes-related complications. The review concludes: ‘This extremely promising ingredient, olive leaf, is worthy of considerable further research.’

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5 reasons why eating olives is a must

Almost everyone loves olives be it on your favourite pizza, sandwich or salad. Not only do they taste good but are loaded with a number of health benefits.

Here are a few reasons as to why olives are a must in your diet regularly:

  • olive-smallOlives are a rich source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and hence helps in easing pain.
  • Loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants, olives are an excellent food for your hair and skin.
  • Eating olives help boost haemoglobin level in the body as it is a rich source of iron.
  • Eating a cup of olives can help regulate blood pressure.

(Source: http://zeenews.india.com)

11 things to add to your weekly shop that will boost your health

Make your shopping list healthier than ever by making sure these 11 products are right at the top of it. They’ll help you shop smart, and become healthier before you know it.

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Lemons

Lemons are versatile, add a delicious zing to food and drinks, and most importantly of all, have more health benefits than you think. Chief amongst those are the vitamin C and flavonoids that lemons contain, which boost the immune system and help to protect against illness.

Olives

Olives are so much more than a snack for dinner parties. Their high mono-unsaturated fat content means olives are highly effective when it comes to reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also discovered that olives can increase brain health, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

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Traditional bruschetta with creamy ricotta and olives

article-0-1EB188C900000578-687_634x801Ricotta bruschetta with crushed tomatoes and olives (Makes 4)

Roughly crush 250g (9oz) cherry tomatoes and toss with 4 tbsp good olive oil, 12 stoned kalamata olives, 2 tsp small capers, 4 finely chopped anchovy fillets and some seasoning. Toast 4 slices of good sourdough bread, dress with olive oil and a little sea salt then spread each slice thickly with 2 tbsp ricotta. Pile on the tomato mixture, top with sprigs of summer herbs or peppery leaves (such as basil, rocket and baby chard) and devour!

(Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk )

Oiling Up

Eataly’s Nick Coleman says nothing’s slicker than choosing the perfect olive oil.

By: Kelly Mickle, Q by Equinox

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Photography by James Wojcik/Art Dept./trunkarchive.com

Olive oil may be the most cultivated cooking ingredient. Called “liquid gold” by the ancient Greeks, refinement pours from a perfectly chosen bottle — and the one who did the choosing. What’s more, Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, and author of The O2 Diet, says, “Healthy fats and antioxidants in olive oil provide a host of body benefits such as lowering your risk for heart disease, boosting brainpower, warding off wrinkles and more.”

Related: Why Eating Fat Makes You Lose Fat

But for such an essential element, most of us know far less about olive oil’s finer points than, say, a good Cabernet. So we turned to Nick Coleman, chief olive oil specialist at Mario Batali’s Eataly, for advice. Click through the gallery below for his favorite labels and top tips for stocking and cooking with the viscous liquid.

(Read more at: https://www.yahoo.com)

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Breakfast with High-Phenol EVOO Reduces Inflammation Linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease

A new study published in Food Chemistry shows that adding phenol-rich olive oil to breakfast successfully lowers the inflammation linked to metabolic syndrome.

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Inflammation is associated with metabolic syndrome, an increasingly common condition characterized by the presence of three of the following pathologies in an individual: obesity (particularly abdominal fat), high blood pressure, a low level of “good” HDL cholesterol, high fasting blood sugar and a high level of triglycerides. Left untreated, metabolic syndrome can trigger diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Forty-nine patients with metabolic syndrome added 40 ml of high-, medium- or low-phenol virgin olive oil to their breakfast. The high-phenol olive oil (398 parts per million) breakfast neutralized pro-inflammatory gene expression in patients while reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines in blood plasma. The result was an overall lower level of post-meal inflammation.

Phenols — phytochemicals found in plant-based foods such as olives, coffee, tea, and chocolate — have been enjoying the nutritional limelight as an increasing number of health-related benefits are revealed. While the lion’s share of studies to date focus on their anti-oxidant benefits, growing evidence shows that phenols also reduce inflammation.

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How The Olive Compound Hydroxytyrosol Helps Stop Infections

A compound found naturally in olives helps fight bacterial infections, according to an international patent application by Spanish scientists.

They say hydroxytyrosol and derivatives of it can disrupt quorum sensing (QS) – a way in which bacteria ‘talk’ to each other – thereby making infections less virulent. With antibiotic resistance increasing, this is seen as a promising way of treatment.

Madrid-based patent applicant Seprox Biotech, which sells hydroxytyrosol (HT), claims that HT and its derivatives hydroxytyrosol acetate (HTA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) have good anti-QS activity, making them useful for preventing and treating many kinds of infections.

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Potential usage

It said in its application that in vivo uses could include pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of bacterial infection. Ex vivo uses include in the manufacture of food, food packaging, medical devices and pharmaceutical compositions, including application to or use in the making of surfaces – such as in medical devices and foods or food packaging – to inhibit formation of bacterial biofilm.

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