The Mediterranean diet helps prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss

From Health at:

Researchers in Scotland examined the brain volume of hundreds of older adults over three years. The investigators found that people who more closely followed the eating habits common in Mediterranean countries — lots of fruits, vegetables, olive oil and beans — retained more brain volume compared to those who did not.

“Research is accumulating to show protective effects of the Mediterranean diet on normal cognitive [mental] decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said study leader Michelle Luciano.

The new study suggests the possible mechanism is in preserving brain volume, said Luciano, of the University of Edinburgh.

The Mediterranean diet is an eating style that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil instead of butter, beans and cereal grains, such as wheat and rice. Moderate amounts of fish, dairy and wine are included, while red meat and poultry are limited.

Experts know that with age, the brain shrinks and brain cells are lost. This can affect learning and memory, Luciano said.

“In our study, age had the largest effect on brain volume loss,” Luciano noted. However, “the effect of the Mediterranean diet was half the size of that due to normal aging,” she said. She considers that finding impressive.

Luciano said she found no association from fish or meat intake on preserving brain volume. That suggests it may be other components or the overall Mediterranean diet that provide the benefit.

The combination of foods may protect against factors such as inflammation and vascular disease, which can cause brain shrinkage, she added.

Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association, said the new study “is confirming what we have seen before.” Snyder wasn’t involved in the research.

“This paper really adds to the data,” she said.

However, “these are associations, so we can’t say A causes B,” Snyder added.

Also, the study authors acknowledged that larger studies are needed to confirm the link.

For the study, Luciano’s group collected dietary information from almost 1,000 Scots, about age 70 and free of dementia. More than half had a brain scan at age 73. The scans measured overall volume, gray matter and the thickness of the cortex — the brain’s outer layer.

Three years later, 401 study participants returned for another measurement.

Even after accounting for other factors that might affect brain volume — such as education level, diabetes, high blood pressure or age — better brain measurements were associated with Mediterranean-style eating, the study authors said.

The study was published online Jan. 4 in the journal Neurology.

Among the study’s strengths, Snyder said, is that the participants were fairly alike in that all were residents of Scotland. That means there is likely less variation in factors that could affect brain health, such as access to medical care, she noted.

This research, along with other studies, suggest that overall diet affects thinking and brain health, Snyder added.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends following the Mediterranean diet or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The association’s reasoning is that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain.

Besides a healthy diet, evidence suggests that regular physical activity, lifelong learning, and managing heart risk factors — such as diabetes and high blood pressure — may also lower the risk of mental decline, said Snyder.

More information

For more about diet and brain health, visit the Alzheimer’s Association.

The real brain food could be fresh veggies and olive oil, study finds

More info at :

It is never too late to start eating a Mediterranean. Read more at:


More at:



Posted in Health, news, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

How About Some Super Healthy Greens on That Pizza Pie?



Pizza with Rapini and Sausage Topping

Makes a 12-inch round pizza

Use a basic pizza dough recipe for the crust or, for a quicker dish, substitute a good store-bought one. If you have a baking stone, all the better. Otherwise, a baking pan will do.


• 1-1/2 pounds pizza dough

• extra-virgin olive oil (LYKOVOUNO)

• 1 bunch rapini

• 2 tablespoons kosher salt

• 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

• fresh hot chili pepper such to taste, sliced (optional)

• 1/2 pound sweet Italian pork sausage meat

• cornmeal

• 1 cup semi-soft sheep cheese or semi-aged Asiago, sliced or shredded

To prepare the dough:

Place the dough in a large, lightly oil mixing bowl. Lightly brush the surface with olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

To make the pizza:

1. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the greens and bring to a rolling boil.

2. Meanwhile, using a large knife, trim off any discolored tips from the stems. Using a paring knife, peel the stems as you would asparagus legs. Separate the stems from the crowns. Cut the stems into 2-inch pieces, leaving the crowns intact. Wash the greens in abundant cold water; drain.

3. To the boiling water add the kosher salt, followed by the rapini. Cook over medium-high heat until tender, 3 minutes. Drain.

4. In an ample skillet, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic. Sauté until the garlic is golden, about 4 minutes; remove and reserve.

5. Add the drained greens and hot pepper, if using, to the skillet and toss. Cover and warm over low heat, about 3 minutes. Drain again and set aside.

6. In a second skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the crumbled sausage and saute until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

7. Stretch the dough onto a lightly oiled, cornmeal-dusted pizza pan, baking sheet, or baking stone. Prick the surface. Brush the rim lightly with olive oil and arrange the sauteed rapini, reserved garlic, and sausage on the pie. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat an oven to 500 degrees F.

8. Slide the pizza onto the middle rack of the oven and bake until the edges are puffy and browned and the dough is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove it a minute before it is done to top it with the cheese and return it to the oven. Allow to settle for 5 minutes before cutting.  (Drizzle with more LYKOVOUNO ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL-YUM)

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Christmas Week Give Away!









Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with:

Garlic and pepper Snapper with olive oil aoli



Red Snapper-2 fillets
Onion-Finely Chopped
5 cloves Garlic-4 to
teaspoon Tomato Puree-3
Ground Pepper-To taste
Salt-To taste
For Fish Marination:
Lemon zest
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice
For Olive Oil Aoli:
1 Egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Vinegar
Salt to taste
Extra virgin Olive oil
Onion-Finely Chopped
5 cloves Garlic-4 to
4 teaspoon Tomato Puree
Ground Pepper to taste


Marinate the fish with lemon zest,salt and lime juice for 30 mins.
Shallow fry the fish till golden brown (don’t overcook).
In a pan put some olive oil,onion,garlic and fry till the onion is translucent or baby pink.
Put tomato puree,salt and pepper into it.
In a medium bowl put the yolk, dijon mustard,vinegar,salt and pepper and slowly put the olive oil and keep whipping till the aloe is creamy.
Serve hot with a bit of aloe on plate and present the fish gently over the onion sauce.
Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,



Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by Kansas City-based professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salt, to taste

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 ounces each)

1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9  1/2 -inch deep dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is just crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, thyme, pepper and salt. Heat 2 to 3 minutes or until broth is steaming.

Arrange potato slices evenly in the prepared pie plate, overlapping slices. Pour the hot broth and onion mixture over the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together panko crumbs, Parmesan, sage and butter. Uncover potatoes and sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 158 calories (26 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 25 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 113 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

Read more here:

Read more here:
Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized Tagged with: