Olives and grapes or oil and wine

Today your advisors of Mediterranean Diet present you: 

Olives and grapes or oil and wine are among the most typical components of Mediterranean Diet.

For these foods a decisive role is played by the climate. The Mediterranean environment is characterized by the almost constant presence of sunshine and high temperatures,.

The oil is made from the seed inside or endocarp, and then by a mesocarp and a pericarp; the lipid component of the oil is derived for 98% from the pericarp and mesocarp, while the endocarp participates only for the remaining 2%. The endocarp contains no phenols and is very rich in vitamin E; in contrast, the mesocarp, which contributes to the total production of oil, has very high levels of com-seater polar and very low in vitamin E.

Among the phenolic components of the oil are the most important to remember:

  • simple phenols: tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol
  • complex phenols: oleoeuropeina, ligstroside These particular components were subject to trials for some scientific work.

From the olive: OIL

Olive oil, the main element of the Mediterranean Diet is universally recognized as the best seasoning lipid for human nutrition. It is visually attractive, fragrant smell, pleasant to the taste. You only need a few drops to make a rapid seasoning.

The palatability of this fat is due, in addition to the fragrance, the presence of minor components, chlorophylls, terpenes and biophenols, and of course to the microcomponents that are found after the pressing. These components are valuable because they provide a great stability to the product, thanks to which the oil remains protected from premature rancidity. Maintenance over time: the oil is preserved optimally for two years,  which is not true for other types of oils, they are much less stable. Furthermore, the olive oil, owing to the low content of thermolabile  elements, is, among all fats known, the one that at high temperature undergoes minor transformations harmful for the health.

Its easy emulsibility with digestive juices makes it a real operator for the digestive functions stimulation  .

Oleic  acid, also called omega 9 monounsaturated acid,  represents the main component and is considered the best fat usable by the body, compared to all other types of fats.

Olive oil, in addition to being a food that contains more monounsaturated fatty acids, also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic and linolenic acids, which are essential to the human body and are contained in sufficient quantities and in optimal proportions to maintain the organic balance.

The content of tocopherol is lower than that of the other seed oils, and this involves the low oxidizability perhaps also due to other non-energy substances, such as squalene or phenolic compounds.

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has demonstrated to play a really healthy role. The data related to the use of raw extra virgin olive oil, but also the ones of simple olive, show that the activities of this food prevention and protection have been multiplied  faced to those of other oils and of other types of fat, particularly those of animal origin.

But there is a coupling that increases even more its benefits and is the one between oil extravirgin olive oil and spices and fresh aromas of Mediterranean type, such as parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, the sage etcetera.


Olives and grapes or oil and wine

Another cornerstone of the DM is the product of the grapes crushing : wine. Its alcohol content,  however slight (we have wines 4/5 degrees like Muscat, but it can be up to 18/20 for certain types of red), is always present and must be considered. Excess consumption of wine cause serious damage to health and this is known also in ancient times. This liquid food is included in DM but always with meals and never on an empty stomach. It should be recalled that contains mostly water, but do not forget the remainder part present in the form of ethyl alcohol, of which 1 gram provides 7 kcal.

In small doses, and at the meals we can  observe benefits or health-conscious processes; conversely, in excess, it triggers an oxidative process strongly detrimental to health. An alcohol daily dose correct and moderate is not equal for everybody, it depends on individual limits which, in turn, differ because they are linked to several factors:

  • sex
  • age
  • genetic factors
  • physiological conditions
  • dietary conditions
  • psychic conditions.

The age at which we can start to take a moderate quantity of alcohol is around 17-18 years: not a mere indication politically correct but corresponds at the time defined by “mature enzyme”, that is  the time when these enzymes begin to be produced by the liver and the cells responsible for this function.

The correct  food consumption triggers benefit mechanisms such as the protective role in alcohol-cholesterol ratio.

As you know, the augmented HDL cholesterol, that is the one commonly called good, is inversely associated with coronary heart diseases.

The team of Mediterranean Diet invites you to the next article to find out the benefits of the Mediterranean diet recipes.

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