Mediterranean Diet: What to Eat to Live to 100

Mediterranean Diet: What to Eat to Live to 100

Ever wonder what the food diet of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses was?

The people of Greece, particularly in the island of Ikaria, is known to be one of the regions of the world where people tend to live unusually long and healthy lives in which it is normal for them to make it to 100 years or more. Even before it is known to be a ”Blue Zone” –the places where the world’s healthiest and longest-living people reside, Ikaria has received considerable attention from nutrition experts and authors  who want to unfold the mysteries of its long-living residents and the secret of low incidence of chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

So, what’s their secret to a very long and healthy life? 

Featuring whole grains, legumes, nuts, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, a glass of red wine, fish and dairy, and olive oil as the main source of fat, the Mediterranean diet, well-known as the number one of the  world’s healthiest diets, makes the people of Ikaria and other Blue Zone areas enjoy life, literally, to the fullest. 

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Greece and Italy, and other areas surrounding the Mediterranean sea thousand of years ago. Because of the geography and climate of this area, people here have enjoyed a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, lots of fresh seafood and plenty of olives. Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.

 

Aside from this diet is a delicious way to eat, drink and live, it’s also a realistic and sustainable way to reduce disease and inflammation, improve one’s mood, and a perfect way of maintaining a healthy weight range. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic complications, depression, type-2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and many forms of cancer.

MUFA Diet

Healthy fats, particularly the Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, constitute the cornerstone of this heart-healthy diet. Although there is no single way of preparing Mediterranean diet, all of them are based on whole, healthy foods with an emphasis on monounsaturated-rich fats. Olive oil, the primary source of fat in this diet, provides MUFA fats. It is associated with lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol). Moreover, many MUFA-rich fats are also high in antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases. 

 

In addition to Olive oil, nuts, and seeds that contain MUFAs, fish are also important in the Mediterranean diet. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Another influencing factor is that this diet is not just a diet or even a way of eating, it is actually a lifestyle! It encourages people to spend a lot of time outdoors in nature, get good sleep and enjoy family bonding with a home-cooked healthy meal (rather than alone or on-the-go) which are great ways to relieve stress and, therefore, help prevent inflammation. 

Besides being hailed as the healthiest diet in the world, the Mediterranean diet is also ranked as the number 1 of the world’s easiest diets to follow. Here are some tips on how you can make the best of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Eat primarily plant-based foods. Aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fresh fruit and vegetables. 
  • Opt for whole grains. Switch to whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, rice (brown or red), oats, barley, and potatoes (red or purple) Experiment with other whole grains, such as bulgur and farro.
  • Use healthy fats. Use extra virgin olive oil as your primary source of fat. Use it as a replacement for butter when cooking. Instead of putting butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in flavored olive oil.
  • Eat more seafood. Eat fish twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are healthy choices. Grilled fish tastes good and requires little cleanup. Avoid deep-fried fish.
  • Cut back on red meat. Substitute fish, poultry or beans for meat. If you eat meat, make sure it’s lean and keep portions small.
  • Enjoy some dairy. Eat low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and small amounts of a variety of cheeses.
  • Snack on Healthy. Enjoy a moderate amount of nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruit daily. 
  • Spice it up. Herbs and spices boost flavor and lessen the need for salt.
  • Sip red wine in moderation. Have one small glass of red wine per day, with a meal.
  • Skip the sugar. Eat sweets on special occasions only.

 

Here is a guide of healthy and unprocessed Mediterranean foods and drinks where you can base your diet: 

What to Eat

  • Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
  • Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, acadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
  • Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
  • Whole grains: whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta.
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc.
  • Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
  • Eggs: chicken, quail and duck eggs.
  • Dairy: cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
  • Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
  • Healthy Fats: extra virgin olive oil, olive, avocados and avocado oil.

Whole, single-ingredient foods are the key to good health.

What to Drink

  • Water: should be your constant beverage on a Mediterranean diet.
  • Red wine: This is optional; limit to 1 glass per day.
  • Coffee and tea: completely acceptable, but you should avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices. 

The Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, but also a delicious way to eat!

Although we are living far away from Greece, we can still integrate some of the eating patterns and dietary traditions practiced in Ikaria. This is also the best diet to fight chronic stress. We all know that chronic stress can kill your quality of life along with your weight and health. It is always best to go fresh and natural.

However, if these food choices are not always available, take Oleia Softgels MUFA Supplement daily to ensure you’re getting excellent nutritive value from this diet.

Oleia Softgel contains olive oil, the healthy and primary fat that makes up the Mediterranean diet. It has strong anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties that amazingly benefits the heart, brain, and protects the cells from damage and inflammation-causing diseases.

Enjoy this smart choice of healthy eating and living of Mediterranean diet— the secret to strong, healthy and very long life!

 

About The Author

Andrea Daguno is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia user.

Staying Healthy while it’s Rainy

Staying Healthy while it’s Rainy

It’s so nice to sleep nowadays while cuddling your loved ones with the cool weather, not to mention me as a mom minimizing the use of electricity. (We’re not using the aircon for days now.) Here in the Philippines, starting the month of June, the rainy season has already set off. Once my kids hear the sound of the rainfall outside, they will start singing in chorus, “rain, rain go away.. come again another day. We little kids want to play, rain, rain go away!” This is also an opportunity for us to enjoy time together because classes of my grade-schooler usually are being suspended due to the threat of monsoon force.

While the downpour of rain brings a cool, relaxing feeling and cuddle moments, this season also brings along with it a host of infections, especially water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases. In addition, high humidity can adversely affect your health.

Heavy rains can trigger certain health risks, and children, in particular, are susceptible. Hence, we really need to be extra intentional in ensuring that our family and loved ones are protected, whether they are inside or outside of our homes. We have to do some precautions for them to avoid getting sick and stay in peak health condition during the rainy season. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Prepare rain gear

Always make sure you are prepared with your umbrella, hooded raincoat and waterproof shoes or boots (especially when you are traveling by foot). You never know when it may start pouring. If caught unprepared, step into your nearest supermarket or mini-mart – they are usually stocked with basic rain equipment.

 

Take a warm shower after getting wet in the rain

Taking a short, warm bath after being soaked in the rain helps drive many infections away. It can also help stabilize the cold temperature brought by the rains, helping the body return to a normal temperature after drying off and getting dressed.

Avoid eating street food

Cool weathers can often trigger the craving for hot and spicy street food. However, it’s best to avoid eating from roadside vendors because of the high chances of contamination. During the rainy season, bacteria breeds insanely, thereby increasing your risk of having unhygienic foods that may cause stomach infections. 

Drink Plenty of Water

With the cool temperature, we tend to drink less water naturally. Drinking plenty of water helps in draining toxins from the body. Avoid consuming water outside when you’re unsure if the source is clean and safe. Make sure you drink boiled or purified water to reduce the chances of waterborne diseases, diarrhea or stomach infection.

 

Increase your immunity

Eating healthy foods is the cheapest way to protect you from sickness. Eat fresh and if possible, home-cooked meals only. Eat fruits rich in Vitamin C for protection against free radical damage, chemicals, and pollutants that may harm our body’s cells. Vitamins C can reduce cold and flu symptoms by 23%.  For additional protection, also take daily supplements like Oleia Softgels, it comes with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to boost your over all immunity. Oleia Softgels are also helpful in relieving aching joints especially this cold weather!

 

Wash your hand regularly

Micro-organisms tend to grow in the rainy season which can leave you with cold. 

Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water to avoid you from getting colds, cough, influenza, and other infections. It is the best way to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. Wash your hands properly by lathering soap between your fingers, under your nails and the top of your hands. Then rinse and dry your hands thoroughly too.

 

Keep your surroundings clean

Dengue, a fatal disease caused by mosquitoes, is the most rampant disease during the rainy season. Don’t leave any water stagnant for it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Keep your area clean, ensuring that drains and sewage lines are not clogged. To prevent mosquito bites and stay safe from other insect bites it is advisable to use mild insect repellents.  Besides dengue, leptospirosis is also rampant because of floods that may contain animal urine causes bacterial infection. Avoid wading in floodwaters to protect yourself from this disease.

Staying healthy is important all the time, not just this rainy season. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy while enjoying the refreshing weather!

 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia user.

How To Change Your Diet to Improve Your Mood

How To Change Your Diet to Improve Your Mood

Mood depends on a multitude of things, from stress and clutter to sleeping habits and personal relationships. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to control your mood, one of which is changing up your eating habits. As explained in our previous post about different eating habits, the way you consume food can dictate the quality of your physical, mental and emotional health, which, in turn, affects your mood. Aside from eating habits, specific food choices can also help manage, and even boost, the way you feel throughout the day. To help you become happier and healthier, here’s a list of specific food groups that you can incorporate into your diet to improve your mood:

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help alleviate negative emotions that often affect our mood. According to a review of 26 published studies, people who consumed more fatty fish were less likely to acquire depression and experience depression symptoms, including but not limited to hopelessness, irritability and loss of interest. Although no study has yet determined the exact way omega-3 improves depression, many experts speculate that omega-3’s effectivity can be derived from its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules. To reap the mood-related benefits of omega-3, make sure to eat around 3.5 ounces of cooked fatty fish everyday.

Whole Grains


Because they’re high in fiber, whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice can help stabilize your mood. These complex carbs help the body release serotonin and give you an energy boost. Aside from fiber, whole grains are also packed with B-vitamins which are vital nutrients for brain health. For instance, vitamin B12 is involved in the production of different neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for mood regulation. To help you make that perfect cup of rice or porridge, consider investing in the proper tools. For a specialized yet versatile option, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 rice cooker is a sophisticated model that features specialized settings for brown rice. It can make up to 5.5 cups in one go, making it ideal for smaller families.

Fermented foods

Kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are only some of the fermented foods that can improve both gut health and mood. These benefits come from the fermentation process which cultivates thousands of live bacteria in the food. These live microorganisms, also known as probiotics, can help increase serotonin levels. This improves your mood, stress response, appetite, and sexual drive. Fermented food also improves gut health by enriching and replenishing your gut microbiome. A growing number of studies have been investigating the positive connection between gut health and a lower risk of depression. One of the easiest ways to incorporate fermented food into your diet is by starting your day with a serving of yogurt-rich overnight oats. You can choose from recipes that include a lot of your favorites such as chocolate and banana, blueberry, peanut butter and jelly and apple pie.

Images Credit: Unsplash

About The Author

During her college years, Reese Jones struggled with finding herself and experienced a lot of negative emotions along the way. After overcoming her own struggles, she started dedicating much of her spare time finding natural and affordable ways to alleviate depression and anxiety.

How to Relieve the Pains of Dysmenorrhea

How to Relieve the Pains of Dysmenorrhea

Aching pain in your belly? Feeling of pressure and pain in your hips, lower back and inner thighs? I used to struggle with horrible Dysmenorrhea myself, and I can certainly sympathize with how frustrating this can be. There are days I can’t get up, thus, affecting all the activities I planned for the day. Having Dysmenorrhea is one of the most common, annoying parts of a woman’s period. It can strike right before or during that time of the month. Many women get them routinely. During this period, the muscles of our womb contract and relax to help shed built-up lining. Sometimes we experience cramps, which are our muscles at work. Some women and girls may experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, or diarrhea as well. For mild to temporary cramps, some home remedies can help provide relief. Here are some natural ways you can do at home on getting fast relief and how to potentially lessen the pain during your next cycle:

Hot Compress

Applying heat to your abdomen and lower back may relieve pain. A 2012 study focused on women 18 to 30 years old who had regular menstrual cycles found that a heat patch at 104°F (40°C) was as effective as ibuprofen.

Improve Your Diet

During menstruation, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that cause bloating and water retention. Some of the biggest culprits include fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeine and salty foods. Reducing or cutting out these foods can help alleviate cramps and decrease tension.

Turn to Tea to Calm Menstrual Cramps

Certain teas may help relieve menstrual cramps. Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, say experts, but teas have been used traditionally and can help. Because some of the herbs may act as estrogens, ask your doctor first before using one, especially if you have a history of a hormone-related cancer or take blood-thinning drugs.

Exercise

The idea of exercise immediately before or during your period may not appeal to you. But exercise releases endorphins. Research suggests exercise is effective at reducing menstrual pain to the extent it may also eliminate or reduce the need for pain-relief medication. Moderate activity such as walking can be beneficial during your period in place of more strenuous activity.

Needle Away Period Cramps

Acupuncture can help relieve cramps, says Jeannie Bianchi, a licensed acupuncturist in San Francisco. “Were relaxing the nervous system” she says, which causes more robust blood flow to the internal organs. The acupuncture is thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Massaging with essential oils

Massage therapy for about 20 minutes can help reduce menstrual pain. Massage therapy for menstruation involves pressing specific points while the therapist’s hands move around your abdomen, side, and back. Adding essential oils for an aromatherapy style of massage may have additional benefits. A study divided 48 women experiencing menstrual pain into two groups: One group received a cream containing essential oils, while the other received a cream containing a synthetic fragrance. The group who used essential oils experienced a significant reduction in amount and duration of pain. The researchers used blend of lavender, clary sage, and marjoram oil in this study.

Watch this video for a tutorial on massaging for menstrual pain:

 

Every time I have this nasty cramps, I give my belly a massage only with Oleia Topical Oil. It’s very safe and all natural, it relieves my menstrual pain fast, allowing me to feel good and get going.

 

About The Author

Charlotte has tried every buffet restaurant in the Metro and is on the quest to try the ones in the provinces soon. She's an active blogger and you can find her in her think tank in Marco Polo on weekdays. She used to think Oleia Topical Oil can help her loose weight since it's good for inflammation only to realize it's better for after work massages. 

Product Review: Oleia Topical Oil

Product Review: Oleia Topical Oil

I’m one of those moms who became prone to neck aches and headaches after their kid turned two. Haha! All parents must have gone through major stress with their children. So when I was offered to try Oleia Topical Oil, I went why not?

For a brief background, Oleia was founded by a Biochemist who wanted a natural solution to body pain. She put together a mixture of olive oil, moringa oil, virgin coconut oil, pomegranate seed oil and other premium oils, and Oleia Oil was born. She claims that Oleia Oil relieves chronic inflammation, muscle pains, skin irritation, migraine, psoriasis, asthma attacks, sports injuries, dysmenorrhea, dermatitis, and tendonitis. 

The good thing about Oleia Oil is that it doesn’t have camphor, methyl salicylate and mineral oil as ingredients. These are known to cause liver and kidney damage when used regularly.

 

My problem areas are my feet (I’ve had trouble with foot pain for over a month), my nape (stress) and head (stress).

For over a week I have been applying Oleia Oil (the lavender one) to my feet and nape and temples. On days when I remember to do so, the pain disappears after an hour in my observation, especially the stress pains. On days when I neglect to apply the oil, especially to my feet, I have trouble standing. Another amazing side, was my asthma attacks started to lessen since I have been using Oleia Oil.

This is not a miracle cure by any chance but a very scientific approach. The oils combat inflammation which makes the pain disappear. I have been a fan of essential oils for a while now and have played around with different blends for pain relief but I like how Oleia Oil is ready-made for days when I am too tired to blend on my own.

I am sure most of you have go-to lotions and potions for pain but I recommend trying Oleia especially since it is safe for breastfeeding moms and children. They have had it tested. I am happy I found out about Oleia and will surely keep stock on hand for me and my family. 

 

 

About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia Topical Oil user.

How to Prevent Back Pain

How to Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reason why your day or plans may be interrupted. I remember one time I’m prepping up to meet a longtime friend whom I haven’t seen in years (she works overseas) when suddenly she cancelled because she is experiencing a chronic pain on her back. We were still able to meet though, but not personally. Thanks to the power of the internet.

This pain, in most cases isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time. Preventing back pain is better than trying to cure it after it has set in. So even if you’re not experiencing back pain symptoms, I would recommend you follow these simple tips:

  • Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity. Stretching can loosen up tense muscles and strengthen those that need some help. Anytime you begin stretching, you should approach each step gently. Stop any stretching exercise that causes pain as forcing a stretch damage or cause strains.


  • Exercise your core. Strong core muscles are important to provide support for the lower back and avoid injury. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise—like exercise walking—increases blood flow to the spine, which supplies healing nutrients and hydration to the structures in your lower back.
  • Correct your posture. Poor posture places pressure on your back and can cause degenerated discs to become more painful. Avoid slouching when standing or sitting.
  • If you spend most of your time sitting, pay careful attention to consciously sucking in your belly and rotating your pelvis slightly up. At the same time, you should keep your head back, with your ears over your shoulders and your shoulder blades pinched. This posture will keep your spine in proper alignment. Do this every hour you’re sitting, holding the muscles tight for several minutes.
  • Sit in chairs or car seats with good lumbar support.
  • Switch your sitting positions often. I would also recommend periodically walking around or gently stretching your muscles to relieve tension.
  • Avoid bending over without supporting your back.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Women should also refrain from wearing heels all the time.
  • Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. You should also sleep on a firm surface.
  • Lift heavy objects correctly. Even if you’re young and strong, you can still injure your lower back if you lift a heavy object incorrectly.When weight-lifting using your legs, always keep your back straight.
  • Maintain an optimal weight.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to your lower spine, causing the spinal discs to degenerate.
  • Get enough vitamin D from sun exposure daily, as vitamin D helps keep your bones, including your spine, strong.
  • Drink plenty of water to enhance the height of your intervertebral disks. Since your body is composed mostly of water, staying hydrated will keep you fluid and reduce stiffness.
  • It is also important to get enough deep, restorative sleep, as too little sleep can lead to back pain and/or worsen an existing back condition.

Tip to stay ahead of your game:

Before engaging in any sports/ game, it is best to apply Oleia Topical Oil on your legs, arms and shoulder. Oleia Oil acts a joint lubricant, helping the joints and muscles to glide smoothly, thereby improving workout and sports performance. 

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About The Author

Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.