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How to stock your kitchen with Mediterranean grocery staples

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What’s first on the list for a Mediterranean pantry? You guessed it – extra virgin olive oil, affectionately called EVOO by many chefs. It is the basis of all Greek cuisine, and Greeks love it so much that when they think someone is a little off balance they say, “He’s losing oil.”

Why extra-native? A 2018 Australian study found that extra virgin olive oil (but not regular olive oil) produced the lowest levels of trans fats and other potentially harmful by-products when heated to high temperatures. Coconut oil took second place, while canola oil failed, creating more than twice as many harmful compounds as extra virgin olive oil.

Greek yogurt and feta

Here is another mainstay of Mediterranean cuisine – rich, creamy Greek yogurt. If you haven’t tried it already – do it – it’s made by sifting the whey and other liquids from regular yogurt and is a firm consistency. You should just buy one that eliminates the extra sugar and gives you a platform for the many sweet fruits, crunchy nuts, and grains to add.

The Greeks are also quite proud of the many varieties of golden honey they produce and enjoy a drizzle on their yogurt or fresh fruit. Not too much!

While you are in the milk duct, take some large whole pieces of feta. There is no scarce pinch of feta on the real Greek salads on the islands. Instead, cucumber pieces and ripe tomatoes, along with some sliced ​​red onions and peppers, are topped with a feta plate before being doused with olive oil and vinegar.

Make sure to add balsamic vinegar to your list. The tangy sweetness goes well with salads, vegetables and fruit.

fruit and vegetables

Next, fill your refrigerator with as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as you can find. When you eat the rainbow, you get a variety of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

Vegetables are the basis of most Mediterranean meals, so prepare yourself for eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, onions, asparagus, artichokes, beets, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, pumpkin, and zucchini before a bite) !

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Add garlic, white, yellow, and red onions, green onions, shallots, and leeks to your list along with fresh herbs. Think chives, basil, bay leaves, coriander, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, dill, fennel, marjoram, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. They add flavor and a nice garnish that will make a dish pop.

Dark leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard and Swiss chard are often seared as a side dish. And of course you need tomatoes – fresh, canned and with sauce.

Processed sweets are not traditional in the Mediterranean. Instead, use fruits and berries to sweeten your breakfast cereals and yogurt, as a lunch snack and as a sweet end to a filling Mediterranean dinner.

Fresh is best for flavor and texture, but if that’s not an option, stock up on frozen versions. Harvested at the peak of their freshness, then blanched and flash frozen, frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same nutrients as fresh ones, studies have shown.

full grain

Many Mediterranean dishes contain whole grains, often with names that have been around for centuries. Ancient grains such as farro, kamut, teff, wheat berries, barley, bulgur, couscous, polenta, quinoa and freekeh are often used to fill vegetables, make salads rich in fiber and thicken soups.

Many can be cooked in advance and frozen in small amounts to pull out and add to a recipe, or as a base for a belly-warming breakfast.

Whole grain and whole grain pita breads are also staple foods. How do you know if what you are buying is a “whole grain”? Look for a black and gold “whole grain stamp” created by the Oldways Whole Grains Council listing the amount of whole grains in that product. Use the municipality’s search facility to find a product that meets your needs. Whole grains are so good for you. Studies have shown that the cereal stays whole, increases fiber, keeps you feeling full, and reduces caloric intake. All of the magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants seem to help lower blood pressure and keep blood sugar in check.

Legumes, nuts, seeds, and more

Since the Mediterranean diet is heavily plant-based, legumes become an important way to add healthy protein. They can be bought canned or dried, and since they will last in the pantry this long, it’s easy to stock up when they’re on sale.

Think of chickpeas (also called chickpeas); black, red, and green lentils; and black, pinto and white, or cannellini, beans. Don’t forget to buy peas fresh or frozen.

Nuts and seeds are also often used in Mediterranean cuisine. Get hold of walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and pistachios – you can always break them up into smaller bags and freeze them to keep them fresh.

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The seed selection includes amaranth, chia, flax, hemp, pine nuts, poppy seeds, pumpkin (pepitas), sesame and sunflower seeds.

Don’t forget olives! A small bowl of olives at the beginning of a meal is a must in many Mediterranean restaurants. So why not copy this tradition at home?

Experiment with different varieties: Greek Kalamata and Conservolies; Italian Conservolies, Ligurian and Gaeta; Spanish arbequina, gordal, and manzanilla; Turkish Gemstone; Moroccan Beldi; and French Niçoise and Nyons.

Seafood and meat

We have finally arrived at the meat section of the menu! That’s fine because the Mediterranean diet uses red meat sparingly. Instead, fish is a staple food that is consumed at least twice a week.

Look for omega-3 fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, lake trout, and tuna – including canned water-filled tuna and white fish like perch, haddock, tilapia, flounder, sole, and cod.

Shellfish such as crabs, prawns, lobsters, prawns, and crayfish are popular dishes in Mediterranean cuisine (often with their heads), as are mollusks such as clams, clams, snails, scallops, oysters, cuttlefish, and octopus.

Chicken and lean meats like pork are okay too, but they’re not often the star of the show.

Don’t forget the spices

What is the most fun thing about Mediterranean food? Experiment with all the spice blends that come from the region.

Take the Moroccan spice mix Charmoula, which can be used as a marinade, seasoning, side dish or seasoning. The spicy dry rub consists of allspice, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric. Add olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste for marinades. Add more to make a vinaigrette for vegetables or salads.

Za’atar, a mixture of spices from the Middle East, is hearty, spicy and woody at the same time. It’s often added to baked bread, but it can also whiten fresh tomatoes, fried chicken, sweet potato fries, hummus, baked eggs, and more.

Ras el Hanout or “Top of the Shop” is a peppery-sweet Moroccan spice blend that traditionally uses 20 to 40 of the best spices a trader would sell.

So much to eat and so much to enjoy! Bon Appetit! Bon Appetit! Buen Provecho! Saw!

Whole Grains Health

Harness the power of the body’s hormones for better health

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When a hormone is out of whack, you can feel like you’re stuck in the mud or strapped to a runaway horse. Just ask someone with untreated Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease (these are high or low thyroid levels), hypogonadism (low testosterone or estrogen deficiency), or uncontrolled diabetes. Because hormones are the chemical messengers of your body and have a direct influence on your metabolism, energy level, hunger, cognition, sexual function / reproduction and mood.

There are around 50 hormones in your body and many more hormone-like substances (brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and active vitamin D2 for example). Your pituitary is the “master gland,” it tells other glands to secrete hormones. The other hormone-producing glands are the pineal and adrenal glands, as well as the thymus, thyroid and pancreas – men also produce hormones in their testicles (testosterone) and women in their ovaries (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). Aside, about 25% of testosterone in women is produced in the ovaries, a quarter in the adrenal gland and half in the peripheral tissue.

It only takes a tiny amount of a few hormones to make big changes in every inch of your body. Therefore, if they are out of whack, it can cause you serious problems. In America, type 2 diabetes is the most common hormone-related disease. This happens when you become insulin resistant and this hormone, which is produced in the pancreas, can no longer regulate blood sugar levels, causing a cascade of health problems from atherosclerosis to neuropathy to kidney disease.

Here’s how you can calm your hormones – and restore your health:

Eat Smartly. The endocrine glands are happy when you eat healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds; high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables; lean animal protein such as salmon; and plant-based proteins like 100% whole grains and legumes / beans. This mix of nutrients lets your appetite regulating hormones leptin (I’m full) and ghrelin (I’m hungry) signal you accordingly so you don’t overeat. Overeating and obesity regulate many hormonal systems.

In addition, a healthy diet will nourish your thyroid hormones, which also help regulate weight. Perhaps most importantly, a healthy diet regulates the work of trillions of microbes in your gut biome that help regulate hormone production and produce hormone-like substances.

Cope with stress, sleep peacefully. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. When chronically elevated, it can reduce the activity of your hypothalamus, which in turn can lead to imbalances in the messenger substances that affect sleep, eating, sexual activity, and cognition and mood. Then you can get tired and gain weight. Therefore, it is important to regularly exercise, meditate, take deep breaths, hang out with friends, volunteer to help others, and / or talk to a therapist. Healthy sleeping habits are also important for reducing stress and regulating hormones. Growth hormones, testosterone, cortisol and insulin are released during sleep. And studies show a link between chronic lack of sleep and depression and weight gain. For sleep hygiene information, visit DoctorOz.com.

Reduce Chronic Inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune response is overstimulated to conditions that interfere with the peaceful functioning of your body. This can happen if you are overweight or obese, addicted to sugar and fast foods, smoke or drink too much, or are constantly under stress. These factors can trigger hormonal changes, such as insulin resistance, low testosterone and vitamin D levels, and increased cortisol, and they power your sympathetic nervous system, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pupil size, and making your blood vessels narrow .

Plus: Eating healthy foods and managing stress and sleep will help reduce inflammation throughout your body and stabilize your hormones, but you can’t get real success if you’re sitting – 150 minutes or more of exercise per week is essential.

So make friends with your hormones and these powerful messengers will send you good news about your energy levels, sleep satisfaction, aging rate, and happiness.

Mehmet Oz, MD is hosting “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, MD is the Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus. For the healthiest way to live, tune in to The Dr. Oz Show or visit sharecare.com.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, MD

and Mehmet Oz, MD

King Features Syndicate

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Whole Grains Health

Types of Millets And How Beneficial it is in Losing Weight

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Weight Loss Tips: Millet is an essential part of the whole grain family like rice, oats or quinoa. It is originally grown in Asia thousands of years ago. It’s gluten-free, filled with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Millet is not only famous in India but has also gained in value in western countries.Read also – Weight Loss in Real Life: I was 104 kg, a visit to my daughter’s school changed everything

Millet is high in protein. It contains five grams of protein and one gram of fiber. Both of these ingredients help keep the stomach fuller for longer and reduce the snack habit between meals. This helps in shedding those extra pounds without compromising on your diet. Also Read – Weight Loss: Is It Safe To Eat Only Liquid Food When Losing Weight? Expert speaks | Exclusive

What Are The Health Benefits Of Millet?

Millet is high in antioxidants that help flush harmful radicals out of the body. It contains antioxidant components like quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other beneficial catechins. These help in eliminating toxins and neutralizing enzymes. It prevents health problems. Also Read – 6 Possible Reasons For Unexpected Weight Gain Explains The Nutritionist

Not only is millet very nutritious, it also has a good amount of fiber stored in it. It helps with digestion and prevents constipation, gas and acidity. It helps avoid digestive problems and prevents gastrointestinal cancer and kidney / liver problems.

  • Reduction of cardiovascular risks

Millet is high in and essential fats that help provide the body with natural fats. It also helps in preventing fat from being stored in the body. Along with this, it lowers the risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. It contains potassium, which helps to keep an eye on blood pressure and increases blood flow.

What are the different types of millet?

Ragi is known for its iron content. It helps in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is high in calcium and potassium. Due to the high proportion of fiber, it keeps the stomach fuller for a longer period of time.

Jowar is loaded with nutrients like vitamin B, magnesium, and antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and tannins. It helps boost metabolism and improves the quality of hair and skin. The presence of magnesium helps in strengthening bone and heart health.

Bajra is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It’s low in calories and considered the best grain for shedding pounds. It keeps your stomach fuller for a long period of time without increasing your daily calorie count.

Amaranth is high in fiber, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It helps improve brain function and prevents certain neurological diseases. It helps build muscle and maintain digestive health. It is also noted that amaranth has more nutrients than quinoa.

Kangni is known as semolina or rice flour. It helps in strengthening the immune system and balancing blood sugar levels as it is high in iron and calcium. It also serves as a better option for shedding those extra pounds. It usually includes low cholesterol, good digestion, and helps in building good heart health.

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Whole Grains Health

Adherence To a Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Diabetes

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Author: Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Role of the Mediterranean Diet: Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can potentially reduce the risk of developing diabetes for the US population.

A Mediterranean diet is one of the few healthy eating habits that has been linked to significant health improvements. It is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and olive oil and is more common in European countries. It is recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. In addition, it is linked to a reduced risk of diabetes in Mediterranean and European countries. However, it is unclear that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes in the US population. In a large US cohort study with black and white men and women, this study investigated whether Mediterranean eating behavior is linked to the risk of diabetes.

This study was a prospective cohort study that included patients in previous research, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, which looked at the causes of heart disease in over 400,000 adults in the United States. In this study, data were collected from 11,991 participants on their first visit. Participants were excluded if they were Asian or Indian due to the small sample size; were black and from Maryland and Minnesota, unable to decipher the influence of geographic region on race; if they have a history or history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer; or if they were derived from the answers to the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or if they had ten or more missing FFQ elements.

One of the statistical methods was an FFQ questionnaire to record the food intake of each patient on their first and third visits. The data recorded from the survey was used in the scores for the Mediterranean Alternative Diet (aMed). The scores ranged from 0 to 9 points, with 1 point being awarded if the patient reported consuming vegetables, fruits, or legumes himself, and 1 point if the patient reported consuming red or processed meat. The higher the aMed score, the higher the adherence to a Mediterranean diet. They also used Cox’s proportional hazard regression models to estimate the hazard ratios and confidence intervals for the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes. Incidence diabetes was defined as: if the patient was diagnosed by a doctor, had taken diabetes medication in the past two weeks, had a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg / dL or more, or a non-fasting blood sugar of 200 mg / dL or above. Variables were also used in the Cox regression analyzes, including energy intake, age, gender, race, educational level, smoking status and physical activity, and clinical mediators of diabetes. They were all stratified by race and body mass index (BMI).

During a median follow-up of 22 years, this analysis found 4,024 cases of diabetes among the 11,991 participants. In summary, aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were higher in blacks than whites, but the risk of diabetes was reduced by up to 17% in both races. In addition, the associations between aMed scores and incidents of diabetes were found to be stronger in patients with a healthy baseline BMI, indicating that obesity or overweight outweighs the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet, as shown in the ARIC study and other U.S. Population. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that following a Mediterranean diet without weight loss may not reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight or obese populations. While following a Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of diabetes in people with healthy BMI, the discussion about restricting calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight should remain one of the most important tasks of diabetes prevention. Overall, eating and following a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of diabetes in a community-based US population, especially for black and normal weight individuals. Future studies should be conducted to determine whether a Mediterranean diet that results in clinically meaningful weight loss can reduce the future risk of diabetes in those who are overweight or obese.

Practice pearls:

  • Diets high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil have been linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes in the US population.
  • There are stronger associations between adherence to the Mediterranean pattern and incidents of diabetes among blacks compared to the US white population.

O’Connor, LE, Hu, EA, Steffen, LM et al. Adherence to Mediterranean eating habits and risk of diabetes in a prospective US cohort study. Nutr. Diabetes 10, 8, (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41387-020-0113-x

Kenya Henderson, 2021 PharmD. Candidate, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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