Monthly Archives: September 2017

Olive Oil, An Ancient Gift For Health.

Scientists are always looking to plants to find medicinal and therapeutic secrets. Discoveries of natural compounds within the olive tree and olives, provide promising health and medical benefits. Organic olive oil has significant health related properties that have spanned centuries and cultures in the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean olive dates back 6000 years and was native to Iran, Syria and Palestine (Asia Minor). From there it spread to the Mediterranean basin. It is one of the earliest known cultivated trees. According to the Bible, an olive leaf was that which a dove brought back to Noah, as an indication the great flood waters were abating.

The olive tree thrives best in a sunny position and climate. A rocky subsoil suits it well. The trunk is knotty, hard, and gnarled, the bark smooth and ash colored. Olive wood is valuable for its durability and is crafted into many items such as gourmet cooking utensils. The olive tree experiences slow growth, but it lives very long. It is reported that the olive trees on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, are over 2000 years old. It is commonly believed the Bible passage of “the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine,” refers to the olive tree. Olive leaves are silver grey-green, and possesses the health qualities of “olive leaf extract” which is pressed from them. Extracted from olive leaves is a bitter substance named oleuropein. In the 1960’s researchers reported that oleuropein lowered blood pressure in animals, this caused immediate medicinal interest in the olive leaf. There are new studies that indicate olive leaf extract may be a natural preventative against the common cold and flu.

The olive is believed to be a source of wealth for the Minoan Kingdom. Egyptians tombs dating back as far as 2000 BC have been proved to contain olives. The Greeks spread the usage of olives to the Romans who, in turn, spread it across their vast empire. The use of olive oil has been advocated by many religions and cultures. The early Greek Kings were anointed with olive oil. It was also used to anoint winning Olympic athletes. Across many cultures, olive oil is recognized for healthy benefits for both the inner and outward body.

Some research indicates extra-virgin olive oil is the most digestible of the edible fats. Olive oil also it helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K in the human body. Benefits of consuming olive oil include slowing down the aging process and helps liver, bile, and intestinal functions. Olive oil is valued for its culinary attributes and organoleptic virtues, these being: flavor, bouquet or aroma, and color. Various grades of olive oil are derived from the time of pressing. Earlier pressings are regarded as better quality. Cold pressed olive oil is a pressing process requiring no heat or chemicals, which destroy vital nutrients. This olive oil is generally the best to use for cooking and healthy cuisine.

Olive oil has been extensively used in cooking and forms an integral part of the basic Mediterranean diet. It is a healthier substitute to butter. Strong and pungent flavored olive oils are great for frying fish or other items having a strong flavor. Extra virgin olive oil goes well with salads. A late harvest mission variety olive oil, which is mellow, can be used for baking cakes. Gourmet olive oil is a healthier and tastier substitute to other fatty cooking oils. The health benefits of cold pressed olive oil already have federal agency approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing ads that say organic olive oil helps reduce the risk of coronary disease and disorders.

Given below is a simple recipe for olive oil bread dipping sauce.

Bread Dipping Sauce

Servings : 2 – 4
Preparation time : 10 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (Italian parsley is best)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed well
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sauté till it changes color. Add all the other ingredients and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve as a bread dip.

New Adventures in Healthy Aging

Life is just another adventure if you really look into its channels. On the first day we are born, we begin a new adventure to healthy aging. After a while, we take our first baby step. Our muscles, joints and bones have already started its progress of aging. Yet, we continue to use our muscles, joints and bones throughout our life to balance our weight. As we reach puberty, despite the notion that we maintained activities the muscles, joints, and bones begin to degenerate. After puberty the declination continues, which our body and minds start weakening.

Throughout our life, we depend on soluble fats to reduce heart disease. We depend nutrients that prevent high cholesterol, which affects so many of us by not eating and exercising correctly. We understand that incorporating the right amount of fibers into our bodies daily will add bulk to our stools. It will speed up to come through and out of our body. High-Fiber diets are something we rely on to slow cholesterol in which the liver produces. We use fibers to keep down the levels of cholesterol, which if increased we know can block the arteries.

Throughout our youthful days, our body changes, yet as we reach age 35 the same body we took time to maintain starts to decline, i.e. the bodily functions start to decline despite the notion that we took time to provide what our bodies needed. Along some time in our life we ask, do I need to lose weight? Many of us ask these questions followed by food binges, ignoring meals, and sitting on the couch hoping that we lose weight. Well couch potatoes, you missed the point, yet help has arrived. High fiber foods links to potential weight loss and control. Because fibers carry through our bodies, it takes some excess calories along the way. Foods that are high in soluble fat are more filling, we eat less of them, and there is the lost of more calories. When trying to lose weight be sure to consult with you doctor before hand, because it might not be the best choice for you. Diet supplements can be harmful even the fiber ones.

Our journey continues:
As we reach 40, we start to look back. Throughout our life journey, we have established a residence, vehicle, children, and more. Now that we are older, we find it harder to maintain or keep up with the bills. Seems the harder we try, the more difficult it becomes. You might say I can’t afford to live here anymore by the age you reach 50. The home taxes, maintenance, etc is weighing you down. You start to wander in your mind, what should I do. First, you must ask, do I enjoy traveling and meeting new people while learning at the same time?

At this time, you begin because your situation requires adjustments. You take moments out of each day dwelling on what you need to do. You check into your community to find low-subsidized housing for seniors. You realize that one day; you may be that senior resting a community housing arrangement. If you vision this now, take action instead of waiting until you are too old to do something about your situation. Unfortunately, many older folks lose their homes, belongings, vehicles, insurance etc as they grow older, which causes them to sink into the world that leads to death. Now is the time to save your future by checking into community housing for seniors. Learn what these facilities have to offer you. In addition, if you like to travel why wait until you are too old to move. Your local travel agent to see if they have any outings planned in the future, that you might like to take. Some times travel packages are cheaper and nicer because they make the entire plan and you just go along with the flow of things. Traveling can be educational as well as a relaxation time for you. Seeing new things and meeting new people are both education. Seeing and going to new places you’ll be learning about things and meeting new people you’ll learn how others live and enjoy their life. Who knows socializing with others may build your relationships up for more fun and relaxation.

Nutritional Supplements: Are They Really Essential For Good Health

Why should I take nutritional supplements? Can’t I just eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of water, etc.? A fair question. After all, quality nutritional supplements are not cheap. Let’s look at the arguments for taking nutritional supplements in addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Argument #1: Our foods no longer contain the nutrition they should

Due to modern processing and farming methods, foods that should be high in certain nutrients no longer are. For example, the tomato is an excellent source of phytonutrients, specifically, lycopene. But when you buy a tomato from the grocery store, there is little to no lycopene or other nutrients left in it. The tomato was likely grown on nutrient depleted soil, fertilized and sprayed with toxic chemicals, picked green, then gassed to turn it red. Little wonder it has no nutrition value left!

Another culprit in the nutrition depletion of foods is our food cooking and preparation. Even if you could by some magic acquire a nutrient rich tomato, cooking or storing the tomato will destroy most of the nutrients. For example, studies have shown that phytonutrients begin breaking down less than 24 hours after the vegetable was picked!

Of course, there are many other factors contributing to the poor nutrient content of our foods: breeding, GMOs, storage, etc, etc. Once you consider all of the factors causing the poor nutrient content in our food, it becomes quite logical to take supplements to replace these nutrients.

Argument #2: We no longer eat the right foods

If you eat a 100% organic, fresh diet, you’re a long ways ahead of the rest of us. Of course, the foods you’re eating are still nutrient depleted, as we saw above.

But for the rest of us, we need to supplement our diets also because we’re just not eating the foods we should. Currently, french fries are the most consumed vegetable in the United States. We’re just not getting the nutrients we need!

Argument #3: Environmental stress necessitates nutritional supplements

The Los Angeles Times ran an article last year revealing a startling finding: scientists announced that by the time a child born in LA was 2 weeks old, he had already been exposed to more toxins than would be acceptable for his entire life! While we don’t all live in Los Angeles, we’re all subject to environmental stress that puts extra burden on our immune systems. Even our drinking water has chemicals and toxins in it.

The best way to counter the stress on your body’s health caused by all of these toxins and such is to support your body with proper nutrition. Since our foods are nutrient depleted, the only way to properly support your health is through nutritional supplements.

Argument #4: Nutritional supplements allow us to benefit from nutrient rich foods around the world.
Even if our foods weren’t nutrient depleted and our environment wasn’t toxic, nutritional supplements would still have benefit. They allow us to benefit from plants and nutrient rich foods found around the world that otherwise we would be unable to benefit from. Good examples would be the goji berry from China, the Australian bush plum, and many others.

Do you want optimal health? The only way to properly support your body’s health is to take quality nutritional supplements.