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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 06 April 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 APRIL 2019 15 FOOD FOR THOUGHT WINEPEDIA In the Winepedia section, the website provides a great variety of information, from the history of viticulture and wine-making in Greece since the ancient times to gastronomy and wine research. HISTORY The history of Greek wine is a fascinating and rich subject, based on multiple sources, including archeological finds, historical references, research, studies and publications. The site only aspires to provide a brief overview of this history. Visitors can learn about it using two timelines, spanning from prehistoric to contemporary times: one based on entire historic periods and one listing every milestone in the evolution of wine producing in Greece – from the earliest discovered evidence of vinification dating back to 4500 BC to the 1999 Thessaloniki International Wine Competition.The history of Greek wine spans a remarkably long period of time, encompass elements from Greece's culture, economy, religion, social as well as everyday life, and include the regions where viticulture, winemaking and wine consumption flourished. VITICULTURE The site invites us to discover more about contemporary viticulture in Greece: drawing from ancient techniques and incorporating scientific knowledge from modern research and technologies, grapevine cultivation is innovated and revolutionised. Here you can find out more about the methods used in Greek vineyards, such as biodynamic and organic viticulture. Many of the unique ecosystems were vineyards are situated have developed through natural selection and are located in areas protected from most vine pests and vine diseases. Therefore, the vast majority of Greek vineyards are suitable for organic cultivation or other alternative methods of viticulture since the need for frequent chemical spraying has been largely eliminated. VINIFICATION With regard to the process of wine-making, ancient traditional practices are also paired with the latest technology available today, allowing for ever-improving quality. You can learn about the spirit of innovation that has placed Greece among the most technologically advanced wine producing countries, and about Greece's age-old tradition in winegrowing which has led to a wealth of unique winegrowing practices. UNKNOWN VARIETIES & TRADITIONAL WINES Apart from the up-andcoming Greek varieties and their flagships (Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro) there are also practically hundreds of other Greek grape varieties. All are vinifiable, whether they go towards vinification of monovarietals or are used as part of wine blends. The website offers an extensive list of unknown grape varieties indigenous to Greece, some of which are extensively cultivated and are safely established, while others are on the brink of extinction, while some have been rescued after concerted efforts by certain vine growers. With regard to obscure varieties, ongoing research, experimental plantings, micro-vinifications and fine tuning should show which ones show promising potential. You can also find a catalogue of dessert, traditional and jug wines, produced regionally using old-school ways of production. These are wines like Santorini's sweet vinsanto, Crete's traditional marouvas or the worldfamous yet underrated retsina – once scorned but recently reappreciated by younger generations. GASTRONOMY Wine and gastronomy are inextricably linked. Greek cuisine is based on seasonality, simplicity and regionality, using mostly humble ingredients. Thanks to its lands, seas and climate, Greece offers a variety of foods that can perfectly accompany many different types of wine, such as fish and seafood, cheeses, charcuterie, olives and fresh fruit. In this section on gastronomy you have access to basic knowledge about Greek cuisine, products, restaurants and, of course, the internationally celebrated Mediterranean Diet – in which wine features prominently.Through the Wines of Greece website you can also learn more about a number of subjects including the categorisation of wines according to Greek law, the role of the Greek Wine Institute and the evolution of viticultural research, and the appropriate way to serve Greek wine. Olive oil consumption linked to reduction in blood clots Study confirms the benefits of olive oil on cardiovascular health yet another reason to cheer. Not only is their dressing of choice delicious, a new study has also found a link with eating olive oil and a reduction in the risk of heart disease and stroke. The study by New York University's School of Medicine found that those consuming olive oil at least once per week consistently, had lower platelet activity. What are platelets you ask? They are fragments of blood cells, which when activated, bind together. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets rush to the site to form a plug. While this reveals how fascinating the body can be, this activity can at times prove threatening to our health. Meanwhile platelets can also contribute to atherosclerosis - artery-clogging plaque - which underlies the majority of heart attacks and strokes. So lowering platelet activity is appealing, and very beneficial. The study led by Assistant C onsumers of a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil have Professor Sean P. Heffron involved 63 non-smoking adults, averaging 32 years old with an average body mass index (BMI) of 41 - classifying them as obese. Their analysis revealed that participants who reported consuming olive oil at least once a week had less platelet activation than others who consumed olive oil in their diets less frequently. Those who topped the list in olive oil consumption had the least level of platelet accumulation. "People who are obese are at increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, even if they don't have diabetes or other obesity-associated conditions," Heffron said. "Our study suggests that choosing to eat olive oil may have the potential to help modify that risk, potentially lowering an obese person's threat of having a heart attack or stroke." It is not clear however as to how much olive oil needs to be eaten to benefit from the effects. The Greek super food from Corinth that the colloquial name used to refer to raisins from Corinth is no accident, with the raisins considered one of the super foods produced in Greece. Made from Black Corinth, a small, sweet, seedless grape, they are highly nutritious. They are rich in fibre, potassium, antioxidants and vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, and C.The high potassium content helps to counter the effects of sodium, which in turn can play a role in reducing heart rate, blood pressure, as well as lowering the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular diseases. The raisins also have a H prebiotic effects, which promotes good gut bacteria. Greece continues to be a primary producer of Corinth raisins, churning out 80 per cent of the world's ave you ever heard of 'black gold'? Scientists are fast discovering total production, with the rest coming from Australia, California (US) and South Africa.To create one kilo of the raisins, an estimated three kilograms of grapes are required and can be dried out naturally and simply by the sun and without the use of nasty additives. Just two tablespoons of the special raisins are equivalent to one serve of fruit. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep our consumption in check as they are after all 70 per cent pure fructose. While a natural form of sugar, just one handful is enough to help boost energy. But what really makes these raisins a super food?According to scientists at Harokopio University in Athens, a study conducted in 2013 showed impressive effects on colorectal cancer. The antioxidants proved to have an antiinflammatory effect on the cancer cells, and also had a cytoprotective effect, helping to provide protection to cells against harmful agents and suppress cell proliferation. It is believed that the positive findings are a result of the high content of powerful antioxidants, which are highly bioavailable for the body to absorb and utilise. It's not the first time the antioxidant activity of Corinthian raisins has been certified by Greek scientists; the effect of the specific extract was investigated in stomach cancer cells with similar results.While positive results have also been witnessed on those with Type 2 diabetes, who consumed the raisins to help regulate diastolic blood pressure without disrupting blood sugar levels.
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