Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

January 29, 2013 11:23:38 AM EST

The culinary traditions, eating habits, and foods of the Mediterranean area are the result of centuries of tradition. Images of long, leisurely meals, full of great food and conversation, dominate the picture, creating what many see as the culinary ideal.

 

However, it is not just the incredible flavors and recipes of that area of the world that is garnering all of the attention. It is also the lives and health of the people who eat it. In recent years, lots of study has been given to what is called the “Mediterranean Diet.” Considered one of the healthiest ways of eating, the Mediterranean Diet has shown to have a positive effect on your heart, blood sugar, weight, and overall health.

 

The most important aspect of the Mediterranean Diet is the types of food.  Rich in whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, fruit, vegetables, olive oil, spices, and fish, the Mediterranean Diet is full of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and monounsaturated fats that your body needs to remain healthy.

 

One of the areas of the diet that has received the most attention is the use of monounsaturated fats, particularly olive oil. Studies have shown that this particular fat has anti-inflammatory capabilities and helps fights disease at the cellular level. Another area of interest is the high fiber level, which helps slow digestion and reduce blood sugar swings.

 

The Mediterranean Diet has shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In general, a Mediterranean Diet combined with daily physical activity is believed to increase your overall life expectancy.

 

And the best part is that it is a diet full of the great food and flavors that people love to eat everyday.

0 Comments | Posted in Healthy By Pasta Cheese

Healthy Winter Foods

December 12, 2012 12:07:11 PM EST

One of the most common complaints of the winter season is how the number of holiday parties and treats can wreck havoc on your waistline. The temptation of those holiday desserts combined with the belief that the best fruits and vegetables are no longer in season, can leave you in an unhealthy frame of mind.

 

However, despite the misconception that no good fresh food is found during the winter, there are several wonderful winter fruits and vegetables that you can add to your diet. By adding just a few, you can enliven your taste buds, increase your health, and help get your waistline back to normal.

 

Vegetables

  • Brussels Sprouts. This hearty food is delicious when roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Just make sure to remove the outer leaves and trim the stems.
  • Leeks. Finely sliced leeks are a great addition to salads, rice or omelets. You can also combine them with potatoes to make a satisfying soup.
  • Beets. Oven roasted beets make a yummy addition to your winter salad. For an extra punch of flavor, combine the beets with goat cheese and a drizzle of walnut oil.
  • Kale. Kale is best when it sautéed in olive oil. Transform it into an elegant dish by adding balsamic vinegar, garlic, and pine nuts.

 

Fruit

  • Persimmons. A delicious fruit that is jam-packed with antioxidants, permissions nicely highlighted when wrapped with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.
  • Guava. Guavas are a great addition to any fruit salad. Or try a more interesting flavor profile by combining with figs and blue cheese.
  • Pomegranate. Pomegranate seeds add a pleasant punch to many dishes. Add them to your salad or to oatmeal for a tasty crunch.
  • Kiwi. This little green fruit has the added bonus of being chock-full of vitamin C. Add to your desserts, fruit salads, or even to a spinach salad for a great citrus flavor.
0 Comments | Posted in Healthy By Pasta Cheese