For many years Cretan cuisine has been considered one of the healthiest in the world, which is officially recognized by the scientific community. It is rich in dishes consisting of a large amount of vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, as well as olive oil and herbs. There is little red meat and animal fats in it. Does its health properties result from the quality and richness of these products?
Yes, it is definitely a necessary but not sufficient condition. The secret of the Cretan cuisine is to combine these ingredients with olive oil, which occurs in most dishes.
New research recently conducted by the British prove that it is the chemical combination of the properties of olive oil and vegetables that explains the health properties of the Mediterranean diet. The results of their research were presented in the May edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The fact that the researchers place great hopes on this research may be proved by the fact that they were financed by many organizations, including the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council UK.
Unsaturated fat from olive oil reacts with nitrites and nitrates contained in vegetables, and as a result they create a category of beneficial fatty acids of the nitro type. These acids help to lower too high blood pressure by limiting the activity of the enzyme known as epoxy hydrolase. Researchers conducting these studies emphasize that their earlier studies also pointed to this phenomenon.
Researchers conducted experiments on mice that first developed high blood pressure that led to myocardial hypertrophy, and then gave nitro-acids obtained from the Mediterranean diet. The result of the experiment turned out to be very promising because in this group of mice the blood pressure dropped and a reduction in the size of the heart was also observed. The control group, which was mice with genetically modified resistance to hydrolase, did not react to nitro acids. Only "normal" rodents surrendered to their action.
The current results fully confirm the conclusions from many years of research on the Mediterranean diet conducted from 1957 to 2014, which say that this diet is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and is the most balanced.
According to prof. Philip Eaton from King's College London, the research gives a chance to understand and reduce problems with the blood system. Probably, now is the time to conduct clinical trials on humans, which will be another source of information on the Mediterranean diet.
Link to the PNAS article:
During our culinary experiments and during the preparation of our everyday meals, we try to reach for unique products from Crete or Greece as often as possible. Many of them permanently fit into our menu and systematically reach our shopping lists. For some time, dried plums and black olives from the Greek company Atrapos have joined the group of this type of products. At the outset, it is worth emphasizing that both products are virtually in the permanent offer of the online store kreta24.pl.
Today we would like to introduce to you black dried salt olives that we discovered in Paleochora during our last holidays. Their amazing salty and very expressive taste makes them a great addition to various dishes, but they also taste fantastic in the form of a self-made snack. Unfortunately, we do not know if you can get it somewhere in Poland because it is a relatively rare product.
In the world of culinary products there is a small group of those for which the storage time is a beneficial factor that allows for greater nobility of taste. As a good example, we can mention wines that have matured for decades to please the palate of wealthy connoisseurs. Unfortunately, this rule does not apply to oil, whose properties and taste virtually from the moment the finished product is obtained are slowly degraded. It is worth asking yourself: how to store oil to slow down this aging process?