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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 March 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 MARCH 2019 11 FOOD FOR THOUGHT RECIPE PHOTO: HEALTHLINE INGREDIENTS: 1 medium eggplant, cut into large cubes salt 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm slices 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 cm slices 250 g broccoli, cut into large florets 250 g cauliflower, cut into large florets 3 small brown or red onions, cut into quarters 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 cm slices 2 small red capsicums, cut into large chunks 2 cloves garlic 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil 3 medium tomatoes, blanched and peeled, or 1 x 440 g can whole peeled tomatoes 1 cup (250ml) hot water freshly milled sea salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste dried oregano, to taste crusty bread, to serve BRIAMI VEGETABLE BAKE This colourful vegetarian dish by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos can be made with any vegetable combination. It can be served as a side dish or as a meal in itself. METHOD: 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). 2. Place eggplants in salted water for 20 minutes to draw out bitterness, then drain. 3. Place drained eggplants, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, capsicum, whole peeled garlic It was five years ago that she published one of her best papers, on how the Mediterranean diet can reverse fatty liver, which at the time had no treatment and so was considered revolutionary. "It's a topic that is dear to everyone's heart; everybody eats, everyone loves food, and I guess fortuitously for me, working with the Mediterranean diet it's a lifestyle concept that as soon as I start talking about it, it makes people happy because it's not about 'you're on this special diet, you can't eat this, you can't eat that, you cut this'. This is about what you can eat. "And we can almost go to every category and explain how a Mediterranean diet is good for the environment and therefore has the sustainability tick more so than a diet that would be higher in animal foods." cloves and olive oil in large baking dish on the stove top and saute over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (do not brown). 4. Add tomatoes and hot water and mix well, then season to taste, add oregano to taste and bake for 30 minutes, checking regularly and adding extra hot water if necessary. I HOW TO MAKE ENVIRONMENTALLY HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES: Grow your own where possible; even if you start small with herbs and tomatoes. Shop from local green grocers and farmers markets, ideally ones where food is sourced from within a 10-20 km radius of where you live. Cook with fresh produce; if pressed for time, pick one day a week, batch cook and freeze for convenient weeknight meals. HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE CHOICES TO AVOID NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES: Meat can be highly nutritious, but it’s all about balance. If you are trying to cut down on your meat consumption, here are some alternative choices to ensure your nutritional needs are covered. PROTEIN: Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans)* Greek yoghurt Quinoa Nuts (almonds) IRON: Legumes* Green leafy vegetables** Apricots and figs, dried Nuts (cashews) B12: Mushrooms (unpeeled) Seafood (fish and shellfish, clams, sardines) Dairy (milk, yoghurt) (GOOD) FATS: Olive oil*** * While legumes are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, they don’t have the full complement of amino acids that meat do, so you need to complement them with cereals to get the right combination. ** The iron in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and horta is not as bio-available. To ensure you’re absorbing as much iron as possible, add vitamin C or an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. *** In a salad, the greens and tomatoes have fat soluble nutrients, which means they need fat to be absorbed, so adding olive oil increases absorption of the nutrients in the salad foods. Note: Using herbs and spices instead of salt to season your food is not only a healthier option, but also boosts the antioxidant content of salad and cooked vegetable dishes. Mediterranean diet could be the secret to getting more out of your training t has been proven that the Mediterranean diet of our ancestors, has a number of health benefits, and Saint Louis University (SLU) has found there are even benefits for getting the most out of your fitness training. A study led by Professor of nutrition and dietetics Edward Weiss has confirmed that less than a week on the Mediterranean diet can improve endurance exercise performance. The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, revealed that certain foods in the diet are full of compounds that are linked to improved athletic performance. "For example, dietary nitrates increase exercise performance in a single dose, and alkalinity from dietary alterations improves exercise performance as quickly as it changes urine pH — that is, within days," Professor Weiss said. The study involved 11 participants - fit men and women in their late 20s - who were place on either the Mediterranean diet (whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and whole grains; avoidance of red and processed meats, dairy, trans and saturated fats and refined sugars) or a standard Western diet (low in fruit, vegetables and minimally processed oils; high in saturated fat, dairy, refined sugar, highly processed oils, sodium and processed food). After four days, they underwent a round of exercise tests including a five kilometre timed treadmill run, short yet intense cycling, vertical jumps, and hand grip strength test. Participants then took a break from the experiment for approximately a week, and swapped diets for another four days and then underwent another round of the same exercise tests. The results were clear: participants finished the five kilometre run six per cent faster on average after four days on the Mediterranean diet, despite similar heart rates and ratings of perceived exertion. However it is not exactly clear why there was no difference in their other test results. One possibility is that foods in the Mediterranean diet acts on pathways that in the short-term benefit aerobic rather than anaerobic exercise. Professor Weiss said the next step is to determine if long-term consumption of the Mediterranean diet would have even greater benefits, which he suspects it would. "If nothing else, the acute effects would allow for greater training loads which would be expected to lead to greater long-term training adaptations," he said. Professor Weiss and the research team noted that participants' regular diets generally leaned more towards the Western diet. One of the challenges during the course of the study was to ensure that those on the Mediterranean diet did in fact consume the required amount of fruit and vegetables, which is a higher dose than generally consumed.
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