This is a really simple, quick recipe and is best made with the freshest zucchinis to truly appreciate their sweetness when they are in season.Read More
Recent scientific studies in Australia have proven that it is safe to cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). In fact, EVOO is by far the safest oil to cook with.
In the past, it was believed that the smoke point of the oil determined whether it was heat resistant but this recent study has shown that the stability at high temperatures is determined by the total unsaturated fat level, oxidative stability and UV coefficients.
Australian researchers compared the effects of heating on a range of commonly used cooking oils (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, refined olive oil, canola, grapeseed, coconut, avocado, peanut, rice bran and sunflower). After heating the oils to high temperatures, they performed a range of tests to assess parameters connected to stability. Extra Virgin Olive Oil was the safest and most stable at the highest temperatures and it produced the lowest quantity of harmful substances called polar compounds. The notion that canola oil is good for your health was completely discredited. It was the most unstable and produced 2.5 times the quantity of polar compounds of EVOO and close to 2 times the polar compounds of refined olive oil.
When an oil is exposed to heat, chemical and physical changes occus in the oil and it breaks down to produce polar compounds which are detrimental to your health and are linked to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinson’s Disease.
So recent unsubstantiated claims that EVOO is not safe to cook with have been completely disproven by this latest research. EVOO is not only safe to cook with at high temperatures, but it by far the safest oil to use for cooking.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 capsicum, sliced
- 1 beetroot, peeled and grated
- 1 cup of mint leaves chopped
- 1 cup of parsley chopped
- 1 cup of chopped rocket and baby spinach
- 1 can chick peas
- 2 tablespoons Fair Foods Tasmanian Hemp seeds
- Seeds for 1/2 a pomegranate
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Olea Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons of Pomegranate Syrup or Molasses
Method: Place quinoa in a saucepan with 375mls of water and bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Cool.
Add carrot, capsicum, beetroot, mint, parsley, rocket, spinach, chick peas, hemp and pomegranate seeds, pumpkin, olea extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate syrup and season to taste and toss.
Top with avocado and a sprinkling of hemp seeds.
As far back as 1950, Ancel Keys established the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. His epidemiologistic studies concluded that areas of Greece had extremely low incidence of heart disease and certain cancers despite the fact that their diet was high in fats.
The Greek diet is high in fats, but the fats are predominately from extra virgin olive oil which is high in monounsaturated fats. Since then, numerous studies have proven the benefits of a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fermented dairy, seafood, legumes and nuts.
The extra virgin olive oil in the diet helps lower your risks of many diseases, The high content of vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals, and olive oil guarantees a high intake of beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, polyphenols, and various important minerals. These key elements are responsible for the beneficial effect of the diet on human health and especially on cardiovascular disease.
The Mayo Clinic states that women who go on this diet and supplement it with nuts and olive oil have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Those who follow this diet have slower rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer’s disease, and improvements in cognitive function.
People who live in the Mediterranean region have long lifespans. There are many contributing factors, but the Mediterranean diet is a very significant factor. All of this makes sense, since a healthy diet will leave you less at risk for diseases and other physical ailments. The Mayo Clinic reported that the diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality as well as overall mortality.
DMB (3,3-Dimethyl-1-butanol) is a substance found in extra virgin olive oils which protects the heart and blood vessels but the DMB is not in all olive oils, most extra virgin olive oils from Italy have low levels of DMB but it is found in olive oil from Greece.
The difference between the grades of oil lies not just in the lower acidity, freshness and richer taste but in the number of chemicals released called polyphenols. High grade extra virgin oil, especially if cold extracted, has around 30 polyphenols that act as antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and also help reduce the effects of aging particularly on the heart and brain.
Until recently it was thought these antioxidant polyphenols acted directly on genes and blood vessels. But it turns out that they also work via our gut microbes that make up our microbiome. This is the community of trillions of diverse bacteria which live in our large intestine. They feed off the different polyphenols and produce other small chemicals (short chain fatty acids) that dampen down inflammation and help our immune system. The striking benefits of the Mediterranean diet and particularly extra virgin olive oil are that they are superb gut microbe fertilisers and improve gut health. It is believed that the consumption of extra virgin olive oil, high in phenolic
A traditional Mediterranean diet has it’s origins in the Mediterranean region. The Greek people have lived on this diet for thousands of years and have exhibited many health benefits as a result. Recent studies have shown eating a Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of dementia, reverse symptoms of depression and anxiety, prevent heart attacks and promote a longer life generally. It can help ward off diabetes as well as bowel, breast and prostate cancers.
It’s healthy and it’s also delicious, so it’s very easy adopt it long term and you don’t feel like you are ‘missing out’ by sticking to it. It consists of fruits (in moderation due to the high sugar component), vegetables, whole grains (containing the 3 parts of the grain-bran, endosperm and germ), legumes, nuts, bread, fish, and plenty of extra-virgin olive oil.
How to follow a Mediterranean Diet:
1. Use extra virgin olive oil as the primary source of fat (aim for around 40 mls /day)
Olive oil itself was the most powerful single contributing factor to the healthiness of the Mediterranean Diet. Research suggests you should have four to six servings of healthy fats a day-a serving is a teaspoon of olive oil (5mls). This monounsaturated fat can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats. The Mediterranean diet discourages saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), both of which contribute to heart disease.
Some extra-virgin olive oils especially the premium olive oils from Greece contain the highest levels of phenolic compounds, the protective plant compounds, that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Eat vegetables with every meal (include 100g leafy greens and 100g tomatoes, and 200g other vegetables/day)
3. Include at least two legumes meals (250g serve) per week
4. Eat smaller portions of meat
- Red meat- 120g up to 4 times a month
- Poultry- 150g twice a week
- Fish- 150g at least twice a week. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, Atlantic and Australian salmon, blue-eye trevalla, blue mackerel, gemfish, canned sardines, and canned salmon are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Canned tuna is not as high in the important fish oil omega-3, but still a good choice to include in your fish serves.
5. Eat fresh fruit every day (1 piece) and dried fruit (40g) and nuts as snacks or dessert.
Nuts are part of a healthy Mediterranean diet but because they are high in saturated fat they should not be eaten in large amounts (30g per day)
6. Eat at least 8 olives per week.
7. Eat yoghurt every day (about 200g) and cheese in moderation (about 30 to 40 grams per day)
8. Include wholegrain breads and cereals with meals (aim for 2-3 slices of bread per day)
Bread is an important part of the diet and is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil. It is not eaten with butter or margarines, which contain saturated or trans fats. Replace butter with healthy fats such as olive oil.
9. Consume wine in moderation (one standard drink a day, which is about 100 mls), always with meals and don't get drunk.
Try and have a couple of alcohol-free days a week
10. Fermented foods- feta cheese, olives, Greek yoghurt, wine provide your gut with healthy probiotics to aid digestion and prevent gut disease.
11. Have sweets or sweet drinks for special occasions only.
12. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
13. Get plenty of exercise
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