Over millennia the people of the Mediterranean have built their own identifiable habits that bring to the table singular and differentiated cultures and landscapes. Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Barbarians and Arabs all have contributed to the ongoing “Mediterranean triad” of bread, olive oil and wine. From the Near and Middle East arrived to the Mediterranean cereals, legumes, carrots, onions, garlic, plums, peaches, cherries, apricots, apples, pears, walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts. From Northern Europe came beets, chicory, cabbage and asparagus, from the Far East, chickpeas, sesame seeds, cucumbers, eggplants, mustard, basil, citrus fruits and Indian millet, from Southeast Asia and Oceania came rice, rosemary, peppers, cardamom, ginger, watermelon, dates, and from the Americas came corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash. Few could imagine Mediterranean meals without these contributions. Thanks in part to these contributions, arose one of the healthiest food patterns in the world: The mediterranean diet.
Virgin Olive Oil, has been known to be beneficial for people suffering from the following ailments:Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arteriosclerosis, Stomach Problems, Constipation, Diabetes, Cancer Inhibitor,Heart Benefits, Blood Sugar, and Prostate Health, Cholesterol,etc.
The extra virgin olive oil is a source of health :Olive oil is not only a staple in the Mediterranean diet, it is also a product that has great benefits, both for health and for skin care. In addition to their popularity to fight cholesterol, is an excellent antioxidant, ally against hypertension and more.
1. Ally of the heart
According to the results of the EUROLIVE study (which involved seven research centers in Spain, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Germany), a daily dose of twenty-five milliliters of olive oil reduces the risk of hardening of the arteries and heart disease thanks to its high content of polyphenols (powerful antioxidants).
2. Fight Cholesterol
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants and incorporate it into your diet can help lower cholesterol, so says the Medical Center
3. Breast cancer
A study by Spanish scientists showed that olive oil can help in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. According to the investigation. The oleic acid containing composition changes the cell membrane and contribute to the regulation of genes related to cancer.
4. Action on Diabetes
Oleic acid, the main component of olive oil has beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and fat in patients with type II diabetes, according to a study by the University of Dublin. The scientists found that glucose levels were lower among those taking olive oil.
5. Helps prevent Alzheimer
Olive oil has been associated with protection against cognitive decline that comes with aging. A study of the University of Louisiana Oleocanthal-showed that a natural compound found in olive oil, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease or neurodegenerative dementias.
6. Anti-inflammatory properties
The virgin olive oil contains a natural chemical component similar to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen, so says a team of researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, United States.
7. Improves circulation
Research conducted by the Center for Biomedical Research in Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) revealed that adding olive oil in foods improves circulation of blood flow and prevents discomfort when walking.
8. Reduces hypertension
Consumption of monounsaturated and especially olive vasodilators stimulates production and improves the fluidity of the blood, which decreases the risk of hypertension. According to a study by the Higher Council for Scientific Research of Spain, olive oil modifies membrane structure and affects lipid metabolism, which is highly altered in patients with hypertension.
9. Protects against infections
Scientists at the University of Jaén, Spain, discovered a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil helps prevent bacterial infections (for example, E. coli or Salmonella). The investigation also determined that this protection occurs even when the body is under defenses.
10. For perfect skin
Olive oil also has cosmetic properties. The Egyptians used it as a moisturizer to prevent dry skin. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and oleic acid containing contributes to maintaining hydration of the skin and favor retention of the cell membrane.
Fats are a type of nutrient feeding is obtained. It is essential to eat some fat, but is also harmful overeating. Fats provide the body the energy it needs to work properly, maintain healthy skin and hair, helps absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.
1- Use olive oil as your main source of added fat. This is the most widely used oil in Mediterranean cuisine. It is rich in Vitamin E, beta-carotenes and a type of vegetal fat (monounsaturated) that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. It represents a treasure in the Mediterranean Diet and has remained through centuries among regional gastronomical traditions, conferring dishes unique tastes and aromas.
2- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Fruits and vegetables are a main source of vitamins, minerals and fibre in our diets and they also provide us with a large amount of water. It is very important to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Thanks to elevated content of antioxidants and fibre, they can contribute to prevent various cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, among others.
3- Bread and other grain products (pasta, rice, and whole grains) should be a part of your everyday diet. Daily consumption of pasta, rice and grain products in general is essential due to their high content in carbohydrates. They provide us with an important amount of energy needed for our daily activities.
We should keep in mind that whole grain products provide us more fibre, vitamins and minerals.
4- Foods that have undergone minimal processing, that are fresh and locally produced are best. It is important to take advantage of in-season products since they are at their best moment; in terms of both nutrients and aroma and flavour.
5- Consume dairy products on a daily basis, mainly yogurt and cheese. Dairy products are excellent sources of proteins, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, etc.) and vitamins. Fermented dairy products (yogurt, bio, etc.) are associated to a series of health benefits since they contain live microorganismes capable of improving the balance of our intestinal microflora.
6- Red meat should be consumed in moderation and if possible as a part of stews and other recipes. Processed meat should be consumed in small amounts and as a part of sandwiches and other dishes. Meat contains proteins, iron and animal fat in variable quantities. An excessive intake of animal fat is not healthy. Therefore, small amounts of meat are recommended, lean meat whenever possible and as a part of a dish with a cereal and vegetable base.
7- Consume fish abundantly and eggs in moderation. It is recommended to consume fatty (dark meat) fish at least once or twice a week since it’s fat –even though of animal origin- has properties quite similar to those of vegetable origin which are known to protect against heart disease.
Eggs are rich in high quality proteins, fat and many vitamins and minerals that make them a very complete food item. Eating eggs three or four times a week is a good alternative to fish and meat.
8- Fresh fruit should be your everyday dessert and, sweets, cakes and dairy desserts should be consumed only on occasion. Fresh fruit should be your usual dessert, before sweets and pastries. Fruits are very nutritious and bring colour and flavour to our diet as well as being a health snack alternative.
9- Water is the beverage par excellence in the Mediterranean Diet. Wine should be taken in moderations and with meals. Water is fundamental in our diet. Wine is a traditional part of the Mediterranean Diet that can provide health benefits but it must be taken with moderation and as a part of a balanced diet.
10- Be physical active every day, since it is just as important as eating well. Keeping physically fit and doing physical activity adapted to our needs every day is key in keeping healthy.