Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Olive oil is a natural pain killer...and the trees are so gorgeous!

Oh how I love this season...my roses are all leafed out and will be insane with blooms in about three weeks. The early lilacs are just starting to bloom and the olive trees are just beginning to set leaves. One of the great things about my porch in June is the fragrance of those olive trees as they flower. It is sweeter than any perfume..if only I could bottle it.

But I digress…I meant to write about olive oil…but thinking of olives had me thinking of the olive trees… OK I admit to being easily distracted by my garden this time of year.

You might wonder why we nutritionists love olive oil so much…well here are a few reasons why.

In 2005, Monell researchers and collaborators announced the discovery that oleocanthal found in virgin olive oil, is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, a pharmacological action shared by ibuprofen. The oil also decreases production of inflammatory chemicals called thromboxanes and leukotrienes The Monell findings were published in the science magazine Nature. But the resultant control of inflammation and pain relief are only two of the benefits attributed to olive oil.

The oil also reduces total cholesterol and delivers increases in the high-density cholesterol (HDL-C), which has a protective effect on blood vessels. And polyphenolic compounds in the oil have antioxidant properties and thus protect the LDL cholesterol from being oxidized..a benefit that reduces the progress of fatty plaques occurring in your blood vessels.

With olive oil we also see improved sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to prevent the prediabetic state referred to as metabolic syndrome. Avoiding metabolic syndrome is an important step key to longevity, because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Finally compounds in olive oil have also been shown to be antimicrobial against various forms of bacteria.

Scroll down for a recipe for olive oil, lemon and garlic aioli..and enjoy. Food as medicine..what a delicious thought!

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