He called it 'liquid gold; we call it olive oil.
Few foods have the foundation in history that olive oil has. Homer
called it "liquid gold." Greek athletes rubbed it over their bodies. It
was used as medicine, food, and cosmetic. Olive branches are still
emblems of peace.
Today, the venerated olive is playing a major role in the area of
health. Until recently, it was valued primarily for its monounsaturated
fat, which makes blood cholesterol and blood pressure go down. And olive
oil strengthens omega-3 fatty acid's anti-inflammatory effects.
New research reported by the American Institute for Cancer Research
shows that many of olive oil's health benefits also come from the more
than 30 plant compounds it contains. Its antioxidants and anti-inflammatories
promote heart health.
Additionally, olive oil contains compounds that increase enzymes,
which block development of cancer cells and increase their rate of
All types of olive oil provide monounsaturated fat, but to get the
highest levels of protective plant compounds, extra virgin or virgin oil
are the best.
Light olive and pure olive oil are lighter in flavor and color but
not in fat or calorie content. They have fewer phytochemicals and fewer
of protective qualities. Extra virgin or virgin have more.
To keep olive oil fresh and its protective compounds intact, store it
in the refrigerator or a dark, cool place.
Lemon-rosemary olive oil dressing.
Place a sprig of fresh rosemary and a small clove of garlic on a
cutting board and crush with the side of a heavy knife. Put the
rosemary, garlic, and a 1" by 1/2" strip of lemon rind in a clean bottle
with a tight-fitting cap.
Pour 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
into the bottle. Cap the bottle and shake well. Refrigerate if not using
right away. Lasts about one week in the fridge.
Shake before serving. Put on vegetables, fish, seafood, pasta, or
Coffee and antioxidants
Recent newspaper stories claim that coffee is the number-one source
of antioxidants in the American diet.
Researchers at the University of Scranton, however, say coffee has
some antioxidants, though not nearly as much as fruits and vegetables.
Good sources of antioxidants include tomatoes, bananas, and potatoes.
Top 10 foods for brain power
Like every other system in the body, the brain needs good food. It
uses 20 to 25 percent of the total energy a person consumes, and the
better you feed the brain, the better it works. According to the New
Jersey Medical College, these are the top 10 best foods for our brain.
The first five are: low-fat milk or yogurt, eggs, lean meats such as
flank steak, chicken and other poultry, spinach and other leafy greens.
The last five are: whole-wheat bread, oranges, black beans and other
legumes, enriched brown rice, and salmon.
Look good, feel good:
Get going In summer you should be able to find an activity you can
enjoy for 30 minutes at least three times a week. What about walking or
running with friends? Think about gardening, lifting weights, or
cycling. A pick-up hoops game is good too, or romp with kids in the
It's nice to look good and feel good in summer, but the real beauty
of exercise shows up inside. Besides making you feel upbeat, many
studies show that exercise can help elevate good HDL cholesterol levels
and lower the bad kind.
Now, new evidence also shows that being active actually shrinks the
fat cells that cause inflammation, which can contribute to diabetes,
heart disease, and hypertension.