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)

A Chicken’s Tour of the Mediterranean

A Chicken Thighs Recipe With Mediterranean Flavor

FEB. 27, 2015 | City Kitchen | By

A good cook needs an assortment of chicken recipes up his or her sleeve. It’s fair to say that most carnivores like chicken, but even chicken fans prefer a bit of variety, a break from the familiar roasted, fried, grilled.

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Braising chicken is a technique to master. The simple process of browning the meat, then adding liquid and gently simmering, ensures tenderness and succulence.

Most people I know agree that the thigh is the choicest part of the bird under most circumstances. I find that chicken thighs make the best braises, and I recommend using skin-on bone-in thighs for the best flavor. (In these days of skinless boneless everything and fear of fat, these unadulterated thighs are scarcer than before, but persevere; they can be found.)

One of the best chicken braises I know uses a broadly Mediterranean approach. The classic combination of chicken with lemon and olives is found throughout the region, but a minor tweaking of the basic recipe is all it takes to give this braise a regional accent.

The example given here is Italianate: rosemary, garlic, fennel seed and red pepper. Marinate the thighs, surround them with lemon wedges, and brown them in the oven. Add a handful of green and black olives and a ladleful of chicken broth. Simmer a bit. The result: earthy, herbaceous, lemony. Serve with polenta.

To give the same dish a more Provençal profile, use thyme sprigs rather than rosemary and choose oil-cured black or tiny niçoise olives. Serve with potatoes or egg noodles. For a North African feel, use large green olives and add toasted ground cumin seeds and hot paprika. Serve with flatbread or couscous.

As for lemons, any kind may be used. Meyer lemo

ns are nice, since they are sweeter than others and the soft skin is mild enough to eat. But ordinary Eureka lemons are fine, thinly sliced, as are rinsed salt-preserved lemons cut in small cubes.

Of course, you should try to get the best chicken you can. Choose organic, free-range, heritage birds when possible. Even at $4 a pound, that’s far less expensive than other prime cuts of meat, and you are more likely to get flavorful chicken if it is of noble provenance. Free-range birds generally have firmer muscles than cheaper “factory style” birds. If you have tasted chicken in other countries, you know that firm meat and flavor go hand in hand.

Once you are hooked on the chicken-lemon-olive theme, you’ll find many more ways to practice it. Imagine, for instance, a chicken sandwich smeared with a garlicky chopped olive tapenade and a dab of bright lemony mayonnaise. You get the idea.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/dining/a-chicken-thighs-recipe-with-mediterranean-flavor.html?_r=0)

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.”

Continue reading