Extra Virgin Olive Oil – several recent studies have supported the decades old finding about health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. A large component of Mediterranean diet is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and this is a key representative component for lowering cardiovascular disease. While being out of the limelight for some years, Extra Virgin Olive Oil will come back into favor in 2019. EVOO is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and has a nutrient dense profile that may contribute to healthy maintenance of the cardiovascular system. It is one of the few monounsaturated oils that may be used for higher heat cooking without becoming toxic. It also has liver protective benefits with its high vitamin E profile.
Sea Vegetables – One of the healthiest superfoods available for consumption. An effective way to include a heap of nutrients in the small amount that is required to be beneficial. A very rich source of vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients. Sea vegetables are extremely versatile for both culinary uses & nutritional benefits. Due to its enzymatic activity, seaweed promotes blood sugar regulation. With the popularity of paleo style eating, this may be welcomed by those wanting to curb their carbohydrate cravings whilst also supporting digestion. Popular varieties include, Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kombucha, Nori, Wakame. Add only 1 teaspoon on a daily basis for long term health benefits.
Spices – Regaining popularity due to their wonderful aromas & excellent health benefits. A recent revival of the golden root Turmeric saw its increased consumption over the last couple of years with several studies being conducted into its therapeutic benefits. 2019 brings more focus on the research around the health benefits & uses of its cousins – cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and cayenne.
Some spice benefits include:
Cardamom – antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, has diuretic properties, circulatory stimulant, detoxifying, and helps promote oral health.
Ceylon Cinnamon (true cinnamon – not Cassia bark) – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antilipemic, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, cardio protective, cognition enhancer and anti-cancer.
Star anise – antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, cardio protective, anti-diabetic, immunoprotective.
Cayenne pepper – anti-irritant, antifungal, migraine prevention, digestive aid, circulatory stimulant, antibacterial, promotes longevity, anti-diabetic, supports joint health.