Secrets of One of the World’s Healthiest Villages

Pioppi, Italy is known as the world’s healthiest village because many of its residents live past the age of 100. What are the factors responsible for their remarkable longevity? A leading doctor in Britain revealed their secrets.

The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate.– Kathy Gruver

Imagine living in a community where the average man lives to be 89 and many reach the 100-year mark. Picture what it would be like to enjoy one’s golden years without dementia or type 2 diabetes, maladies that are an integral part of aging in the rest of the world. After hearing about Pioppi, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra became fascinated with discovering what diet kept the residents so healthy and what lessons could be learned from them.

After studying the village, Malhotra developed a formula for optimal health. For starters, the Pioppians have a very low sugar intake, eating it only once per week. It is this dietary practice that the doctor considers essential for their good health. He contends that western society’s fear of fat is to blame for the high consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Malhotra attributes these foods as the cause of the widespread incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.


Pioppi has received notoriety because it’s known as the home of the Mediterranean diet. As the villagers have no supermarket, their diet consists largely of vegetables, olive oil and fish. They also eat cheese, but other dairy products aren’t available. Pasta and bread are consumed in small quantities. In addition to sugar, their diet is low in meat and refined carbohydrates.

Other lifestyle practices aside from a healthful diet play a role. The villagers get seven hours of sleep per night and experience freedom from much stress. Although it isn’t intentional, intermittent fasting is a natural part of their lives. They don’t engage in exercise per se, but they’re very active.

Malhotra is the coauthor of a new book, The Pioppi Diet: A 21-Day Lifestyle Plan. Below are his top recommendations for vibrant health and longevity based on the Pioppians:

• Don’t fear fat; sugar and refined carbs are the enemies.
• Keep moving. Exercise for health, not weight loss (and walking is best).
• Extra virgin olive oil is medicine, as is a small handful of nuts – eat both, every day.
• Get seven hours of sleep a night.
• Stop counting calories because not all are created equal.
• Eat 10 eggs a week. They’re satiating and full of protein.
• Have two portions of vegetables in at least two meals a day.
• Fast once a week for 24 hours. Have dinner, then don’t have breakfast or lunch the next day.

While Malhotra is an allopathic doctor, his advisories are in line with tenets of naturopathic medicine. Olive Oil Times sought out the perspective of Kathy Gruver, natural health author, speaker and practitioner. “I think there are several points to this that we can all adopt. The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate,” she said.

“This is unlike the western diet that involves a huge amount of processed and packaged foods. It’s not only laden with sugar but also contains fake and unhealthful components such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives and fast food. Our bodies weren’t made to process all this fake stuff. It doesn’t know what to do with it,” Gruver added.

“Furthermore, he mentions though they don’t ‘exercise,’ they are very active. We put so much emphasis on workouts, which can be a big turn-off to people. They think it means that they have to go to the gym or run on a treadmill. But it’s about moving your body in a way that works for you.”

“I laud the doctor’s suggestions on sleep, stress and intermittent fasting as well. All of these things, clearly, are combining to promote optimal health and a longer life.”

VILLAGERS IN NORTHERN CRETE HAVE LOW RATES OF HEART DISEASE DESPITE FATTY DIET

People living in isolated Greek mountains villages live long and healthy lives thanks to a unique gene that protects them against heart disease, recent research has found.

Scientists studied the villagers in an area of northern Crete because they had low cases of heart disease despite eating lots of animal fats.

The study, for the first time made a genetic portrait of the population of of Zoniana and Anogia by sequencing the entire genome of 250 individuals.

They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of ‘bad’ fats and cholesterol.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that the variant is 40 times more common in this small Greek population than in other European populations.

Lead author Professor Eleftheria Zeggini said: ‘Genetic studies like this can help us begin to understand why this is.’

(Sources: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com, http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Spanish scientists say Mediterranean diet improves sperm quality

It has been said that consuming fish, seafood, poultry, cereals, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy and skimmed milk can improve sperm quality

Scientists REVEAL magnesium is the secret magic ingredient to healthy Mediterranean Diet

The secret ingredient which makes the Mediterranean Diet so healthy is magnesium, according to the latest research. By CYRIL DIXON

Scientists say the mineral is more important than previously thought in slashing the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. And they are convinced the results of their work explain why foods such as nuts, whole grains, leafy greens and oily fish help people live longer. The team conducted the largest ever analysis of dietary magnesium data, covering more than a million people in nine countries. Mediterranean-Diet-741021They found that eating a diet rich in magnesium cut the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke by 12 per cent. The danger of developing Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 26 per cent, according to the research at Zhejiang University’s School of Public Health in eastern China.

Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. Dr Fudi Wang

Dr Fudi Wang, who led the project, said: “Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. “But no conclusive evidence has been put forward on the link between dietary magnesium and health risks. “Our analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting a link between the role of magnesium in food and reducing the risk of disease.” His team, based at one of China’s top universities, analysed data from 40 studies covering a seven-year period. Their findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, suggest people in “developed” countries in the West do not take in enough magnesium. 3B284E5C00000578-0-image-a-33_1481154562612Dr Wang believes public health departments should encourage people to consume more – and to get it from several sources because individual food items do not contain enough. He said: “Green leafy vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium while spices, nuts, beans, cocoa and whole grains are also rich sources. 
“Importantly, the daily requirement is difficult to achieve through a single serving of any one food item.”

(Source: http://www.express.co.uk)

20 Healthy foods that look like the body parts they’re good for

They say you are what you eat, but we never thought that meant “literally” speaking.

These 18 foods actually reflect the body parts they provide nutrients for – read along to know why they say eating carrots is good for your eyes – it’s not just a coincidence.

olive_ovary1. Olives

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries. Olives and olive oil contain an abundance of phenolic antioxidants as well as the anti-cancer compounds squalene and terpenoid.


grapes2. Grapes

Grapes have an undeniable resemblance to the alveoli of the lungs. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. Including red/purple grapes in your diet has proven to reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema (a long term disease of the lungs).


kidney_beans3. Kidney Beans

Interesting fact: the Kidney beans got their name due to the resemblance they have to real human kidneys. Kidney beans have significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber, they are also very high in protein and iron.


sweet-pancreas4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes resemble the pancreas and can actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

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Cook to Get Cut: 5 Nutritious Recipes Using Olives

Healthy Open-Face Breakfast Sandwiches

Avocado sandwich with arugula, seeds and poached egg

Avocado sandwich with arugula, seeds and poached egg

Most breakfast sandwiches include a combination of eggs, bacon, and cheese. This triple threat always tastes delicious, but it’s not the healthiest way to start your day. Instead of topping your breakfast with a mound of smoked pork, try olives with this Mediterranean-inspired sandwich from Chowhound. They add just as much flavor without requiring any additional cooking, which means this sandwich is pretty speedy.

As for the specifics, olives contain 65 calories per ounce compared to bacon’s 149 calories for the same amount, making them a great way to lighten up this breakfast classic. And even though they’re loaded with the salty taste most of us love, olives still contain less sodium per ounce than bacon.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices spelt or other bread
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups baby kale or spinach
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced into four pieces
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add eggs and begin to cook. Meanwhile toast bread under the broiler or with a toaster. Cook eggs to your desired doneness, spooning some of the oil over the tops of the whites to help them cook. Remove eggs to a plate.

Increase skillet heat to high and add red pepper flakes. Stir in kale and cook, tossing, until just wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in olives.

Top each slice of toast with an equal amount of greens. Add an egg to each, then top with avocado, feta, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Serve.

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

Amazing Health Benefits Of Olives

Written by: Bindu Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 2:01 [IST]
olivesforovaries-15-1455537537Olives are one of the most widely enjoyed foods across the globe. Olives are the fruits that come in a wide range of varieties. They are bitter in taste and are highly used in the preparation of salads. Olives are one of the healthiest foods that one can opt for. Even olive oil is known for its wide range of health and beauty benefits. Hence, all in all, this is one fruit that is packed with goodness for the body. The health benefits of olives are numerous. They help eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood, control blood pressure and are a good source of dietary fibres as an alternative for fruits and vegetables. Olives are the greatest sources of vitamin E. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant and protects the cells from free radical damage. Regular consumption of olives reduces the effect of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and benign diseases. Olives prevent blood clots that can lead to further diseases. They also protect the cell membrane from cancer. Likewise, there are various benefits of consuming olives. Therefore, in this article, we at Boldsky will be listing out some of benefits of consuming olives on a regular basis. Read on to know more about it.

For Cardiovascular Health: Olives have a diverse range of antioxidants that protect the cells from oxidative stress. The antioxidants in them protect the cardiovascular health by neutralising free radicals. The monounsaturated fatty acids present in olives are good for reducing the risk of cardiac diseases.

Cancer Prevention: Olives lower the risk of cancer by providing a rich supply of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. They lower the risk of breast cancer and its re-occurrence.

waist-22-1450760664Weight Loss: Olives assist in weight loss too. Their monounsaturated fatty acids help in weight loss and weight management. According to a research conducted, a diet rich in olives is beneficial in reducing weight.

Digestive Health: Maslinic acid and triterpenoid compound present in the olive skin help fight cancer cells. This acid hampers the growth of colon cancer cells. Since olives are a good source of fibre, they promote the digestion process.
: Olives are a rich source of iron, an essential mineral component of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs and transports it throughout the body.

(Source: http://www.boldsky.com)

Everything you wanted to know about olives

– The olive tree, Oleaeuropaea, is native to countries in Asia and Africa and along the Mediterranean Sea.
– Unripe olives are green in color and as they ripen they turn black or dark purple.
– Olives are a fruit, not vegetables as many people believe.
– Olive oil contains no cholesterol, salt or carbohydrate.
– Olives are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats.
– An olive tree can live up to 600 years.
– It can take up to 10 years for an olive tree to bear fruit.
– Globally, people consume approximately 2.25 million tonnes of olive oil each year.
– Spain, Italy and Greece are the top olive producing nations in the world.
– Since 1990, consumption of olive oil in the United States has increased significantly. In the last two decades, its consumption has increased from 30 million gallons to nearly 70 million gallons a year.
– 2,550 olive branches were used at the 2004 Olympics Games when the tradition of crowning Olympians with an olive wreath was reintroduced.

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Hear what our expert has to say

“Olives, whether eaten whole or as olive oil, offer exceptional health properties. Olives contain an abundance of antioxidants, protective disease fighting compounds found in plants. Few other foods with high fat content offer such a wide range of antioxidant nutrients. All these elements combine to reduce excessive inflammation and keep the body healthy. They also work to neutralise the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s cells, which can contribute to disease and ill health. Despite being high in fat, olive oil is a better choice compared to other oils for your heart. The majority of fat found in olives is monounsaturated fatty acid and oleic acid, both healthy forms of fat. These elements suppress the production of unhealthy cholesterol which has been shown to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Even though monounsaturated fat is good for your heart, it is still high in calories. So it should be consumed only in moderate amounts if you are concerned about weight gain and excess calorie intake.

Care must be taken when using olive oil for frying. Shallow frying is safe; but with deep frying and intense heating the olive oil is heated beyond its smoke point and starts to break down chemically. This results in the oil losing most of its antioxidants, releasing toxic chemicals in the form of smoke and producing free radicals (atoms that damage healthy cell).”

Contributed by Aisha Pookunju, Dietitian at Hamad Medical Corporation

(Source: http://thepeninsulaqatar.com)

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 

Head Over Heels For Olives

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

str2_pxvillage_ev_3Olives are often used for flavoring or garnishing food, while olive oil is often used to cook other foods. However olive is eaten, it has high nutritious value. These black or green nut-shaped fruits have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can protect you against heart diseases, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases like asthma and arthritis. Studies have also found that when unhealthy fats in one’s diet is replaced (yes, unhealthy fats still need to be eliminated) with healthy olive fats or olive oil, LDL cholesterol levels could drop by 18%. A double-blind-placebo-controlled study also found that extracts of olive leaves helped reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension. Olives are rich in an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. A study published in the Annals of Oncology reported that oleic acid found in olive oil can help significantly cut the expression of a breast-cancer-promoting-gene by up to 46%. Studies have also found that diabetic patients who ate meals with olive oil gained better control of their blood sugar than those who ate low-fat meals without olive oil. Beside being an excellent source of healthy fats, olives are also filled with iron, vitamin E, and fiber.

References
[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
[2] Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

(Source: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/healthonlifesjourney/2014/12/head-over-heels-for-olives.html#ixzz3Tbbmrv5P)

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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A Bit of Mediterranean Lifestyle Could Help You Live Longer

mediterranean-diet

As if we didn’t already know that life on the Mediterranean is much better for our health, than the hectic city life and fast food of metropolises, it turns out that new research published this week in the British Medical Journal reveals that a Mediterranean Diet is amongst the healthiest out there. But while you may imagine strolls on the beach and kilos of gelato to take home, like many trips to Italy undoubtedly have, the diet that Harvard researchers investigated for the study was the trademark diet known of the Mediterranean – rich in olive oils, fish, vegetables, legumes and low in sugar. With a little added touch; a glass of wine traditional with every meal. And what the researchers found is that women who follow the strictly healthy fat diet have significantly longer life spans than women who don’t have a healthy diet – keeping them younger and in better health for years more than the global average.

Studying nutritional data from 4,676 participating in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, the research team was able to determine which individuals’ diets were the healthiest. And what they found was that women whose dietary habits hewed significant similarities with a Mediterranean diet had elongated telomeres at the ends of their DNA, giving them longer cellular life-spans and healthier skin as a trade-off.

“We know that having shorter telomeres is associated with a lower life expectancy and a greater risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases” study coauthor from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Immaculata De Vivo says. “Certain lifestyle factors like obesity, sugary sodas, and smoking have been found to accelerate telomere shortening.”

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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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6 high fat foods you should be eating

WHETHER we’re trying to lose weight or just avoid gaining it, many of us think steering clear of dietary fat is the first step. Rather than cut out all fat, however, we’d be better served if we focused on what types of fat we’re getting.

The body needs some fat — just not too much. Fat gives your body energy, keeps your skin and hair healthy, helps you absorb certain vitamins and even keeps you warm, among other responsibilities.

A diet high in saturated fat — found in animal products and some vegetable oils — can lead to heart problems, but eating the right amount of unsaturated fats can protect the heart.

Unsaturated fats — including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — are considered good-for-you fats. Polyunsaturated fats include the famed omega 3 and omega 6 fats, both considered essential fatty acids, because our bodies can’t make them on its own. Polyunsaturated fats can help lower total cholesterol, while monounsaturated fats can raise “good” cholesterol, or HDL, and lower “bad” cholesterol, or LDL.

The average adult should get about 20 to 35 per cent of their daily calories from fat and less than 10 per cent of their daily calories from saturated fats. A gram of fat contains nine calories, so a daily diet comprised of 2000 calories would even out to about 44 to 78 grams of total fat a day.

So where can you find these unsaturated fats? Look no further than the six healthy picks below.

Olives (And Olive Oil)

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Mixing 10 large olives into your next salad will add about 5 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are monounsaturated and .4 of which are polyunsaturated.

Not an olive fan? The oil is an even more concentrated source of healthy fats — just don’t be too heavy-handed on your pour: A single tablespoon contains over 13 grams of fat, nearly 10 of which are monounsaturated and about 1.5 are polyunsaturated.

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Health benefits of olives

September 16, 2014, by Katie Wilhelmi RD, LD , The Journal

I love olives. They are one of my favorite foods. Ironically, my 2-year-old also loves them. My husband claims it’s because I ate way more than my share when I was pregnant. Whatever the reason might be, I’m glad he likes them too.

Olives are a main ingredient on any pizzas we make at our house. They are common on holiday tables and at parties on traditional relish trays. But olives are also an ideal ingredient to add flavor and variety to foods all year long.

Olives come in many different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. The difference between black and green olives is simply the ripeness. Green olives are unripe and black olives are fully ripe. Olives, both ripe and unripe, are cured or pickled before eating. The reason for this is that fresh olives are too bitter to eat because they contain oleuropein. Oleuropein is full of antioxidants that actually make the olives good for us.

Olive-varieties

Even though olives have a high fat content – 15 to 30 percent – the majority of fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Olives are also considered a good source of vitamin E and contain the natural antioxidants found in oleuropein. Four or five medium to large ripe olives have only 25 calories and 2 grams of fat. Because of the curing process, olives do contain sodium. Rinsing olives first before eating will help reduce some of the sodium.

If you are looking for new ways to try serving olives one way is to make a tapenade. Tapenades are an olive puree or paste blended with seasonings and herbs. All you need is a food processor, blender or knife with a cutting board to prepare a basic tapenade. Tapenades are the perfect building blocks to use with baguettes, crackers or pita chips for holiday parties. For another fun appetizer idea using olives try the stuffed olive recipe below.

Gouda-Stuffed Olives (Serves 24).

All you need

1 oz Gouda cheese | 1 (6-oz) can large black ripe pitted olives, drained | 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or deli ham

All you do

1. Cut Gouda cheese into small (1/4-inch) pieces; stuff one piece into each olive.

2. Cut prosciutto into 3-by–inch strips; fold each strip lengthwise once to form 3-by–inch strips.

3. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each olive; secure with a toothpick.

4. Cover and chill up to 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 20, Total fat 1.5 g, Sodium 150 mg, Total carbohydrate 0 g

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.

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

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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)

Roast string beans for an unexpected burst of flavour

We’re used to seeing green string beans as a side dish, but the white variety is often forgotten. Similar in taste and texture, I like changing it up with this uncommon pick.

These beans are filled with antioxidants and can be stored for at least a week if unwashed and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Roasting the beans along with the garlic, tomatoes and black olives gives you a true Mediterranean feel. Great as a side dish or salad on its own.beans

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. 
Place the garlic cloves and tomatoes on one of the foil-covered baking sheets. Place the string beans on the other sheet. Spray both sheets of vegetables with vegetable oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until the beans are slightly browned and the garlic is soft. Carefully squeeze out the garlic cloves. Continue reading