There are particular foods we can never get enough of and, incidentally, most of these fall under the Italian diet. Sounds interesting, right? Who would have thought that our often reservation at Ricciotti can be a healthy practice? Seems like we have now an excuse to visit more that best Italian restaurant in Singapore!
Thankfully for our health, Italian cuisine follows the Mediterranean pattern of eating that concentrates on simple, natural ingredients, like whole grains, olive oil, tomatoes, seafoods and more. This makes it considered among world’s healthiest diets. Research suggests that the benefits of a Mediterranean-style eating pattern likely include weight loss improvement, good control of lugar levels, and lowers the risk of getting depression. Check out these four Italian ingredients you should include in your diet:
- Whole Grains
During the old times, unrefined grains such as whole-wheat couscous, whole-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, barley, were the base of most Mediterranean diets. Leaving the grains whole lowers their glycemic index. With that, they are digested more slowly and produce gentler increase in glucose and insulin than refined versions. Moreover, they also retain all their vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and other antioxidant phytochemicals. Considering that, diets rich in whole grains might help protect individuals against heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Include basil, garlic, and diced tomatoes to your toasted whole-grain bread. Toss whole-wheat pasta with olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
- Olive Oil
Do you know the benefits of olive oil? You must make olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat, your go-to cooking oil. By replacing butter with olive oil—the most commonly used oil in the Mediterranean—you’ll cut back on saturated fat, help lower bad cholesterol and boost levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. More than that, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants called polyphenols that have been linked to heart health. Try eating the Italian way by dressing your salads with some drizzles of extra-virgin olive oil and a few squeeze of lemon or make use of olive oil to sauté fresh vegetables. You can even use olive oil in place of some butter in baking.
There’s nothing like a ripe tomato, be it served with fresh greens or made into an Italian red sauce to dress a bowl of palatable pasta. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and lycopene, a heart-protective antioxidant which can also help prevent some cancers, especially prostate cancer. Folate, Vitamin A, and potassium are also among the tomatoes’ healthy elements. Even though cooked tomatoes are with less vitamin C, its lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity is undiminished. To leverage tomatoes in your diet, also include fresh tomatoes to your salads, soups or pasta dishes, or consider learning the procedures on making homemade tomato sauce. Or slice a juicy tomato and enjoy the simple, fresh flavor of tomatoes with a piece of whole-grain toast and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.
Anyone here who love seafood that much? If you still don’t know, seafood is a staple protein in Italian diets; any and all kinds of shellfish and fish are celebrated, usually several in a similar dish. Whilst fattier types like tuna and salmon supply heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, lean seafood like shrimp and mussels provide ample protein, niacin and selenium. Serve fish or seafood at least twice a week.