Today is World Health Day and we thought we would share a bit of an insight into the health benefits of our three staples, olive oil, vinegar & wine. World Health Day is an awareness campaign celebrated every 7th April set up by the World Health Organisation.
Personal health has never been more important since the Coronavirus pandemic brought the world to its knees over a year ago. It became glaringly obvious that we need to treasure our health now more than ever. However, the effects of lockdown and social isolation have had detrimental effects on both mental and physical health.
So how do we look after ourselves when the gyms are closed and we can’t go to our favourite café for a smoothie and a salad? It’s so easy to order a takeaway and binge watch Netflix for hours on ends.
Over the years there have been many tried and tested diets, fads, obsessions and health trends. Many have come and gone, faster than it takes to drink a guarana, spinach and sunflower seed juice. However, one has remained. The famous Mediterranean diet. It’s long been a focus of the scientific community – why do people in the Mediterranean live so long? Is it the sunshine? The way of life? The siestas or the social interaction? Is it the food?
In recent years, it has become apparent that it really is a mix of all the above. But three factors remain relatively un-challenged in their health benefits as part of the Med diet. The consumption of olive oil, vinegar & wine!
Scientists and religious folk alike all agree that a diet based around extra virgin olive oil is one of the key players in maintaining a healthy long life. Yes okay, it definitely helps if your diet also features grains, oily fish, fresh vegetables, legumes, sunshine and a great social life.
So why is olive oil so healthy? According to a study published in the scientific paper Molecular Cell, extra virgin olive oil is high in unsaturated mono fatty acids, which have been proven to prevent cancer cells developing and reduce age related diseases. Another key player is the level of Polyphenols. Polyphenols are highest in organic extra virgin olive oil and are known to:
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Have a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis
- Maintain the digestive tract in good health
- Help to reduce blood pressure
- Help control healthy cholesterol levels
- Promote healthy circulation
Red wine also boasts high levels of polyphenols, which are found in the skin of the grape. Red wine gets its colour & flavour from the skins of the grapes – which is where the good stuff is. It’s long been debated whether drinking wine daily really is healthy for you but it seems to work in rural Europe, so we like to think so. As long as it’s taken in moderation & with food, then glug away, we say.
There’s a theory called the French Paradox which explains how the aged French population aren’t as likely to get ill from heart related illnesses or cancer considering their rich diet of cheese and red meat. The theory argues the reason is their consumption of red wine packed with antioxidants and polyphenols.
Here’s some proposed health benefits of red wine:
- Rich in antioxidants
- High in polyphenols
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Aids digestion
- Boost immune system
- Regulates blood sugar
- Beneficial for heart health
Balsamic vinegar is a staple enjoyed now all over the world. However, for a long time it was enjoyed as part of the Mediterranean diet. Is balsamic vinegar healthy?
Balsamic vinegar boasts many health benefits, similar to red wine and olive oil. How can something so decadent and delicious be healthy?!
Feast your eyes on some of these health benefits of balsamic:
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Anti inflammatory properties
- Balsamic vinegar was found to inhibit LDL (“bad” cholesterol) oxidation in a 2010 study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, keeping cholesterol levels low.
- In a 2006 article exploring any possible medicinal uses of vinegar, authors Carol S. Johnston, PhD, RD, and Cindy A. Gaas, BS, noted that “many recent scientific investigations have documented that vinegar ingestion reduces the glucose response to a carbohydrate load in healthy adults and in individuals with diabetes. There is also some evidence that vinegar ingestion increases short-term satiety.”
- Researchers at Arizona State University found in 2006 that balsamic vinegar consumption can lower systolic blood pressure (the larger or first number in your blood pressure reading) by as much as 20 points. They also noted in their findings that balsamic vinegar reduces atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
Now, we could go into the health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar – especially considering we source a fantastic biodynamic, organic apple cider vinegar from a small single estate vineyard and vinegar cellar in Modena. However, we think we will write a separate blog, considering the multitude of claims surrounding the super-condiment.
Another interesting health fact we found in our research is not only does following the Mediteraneann diet boost your health and help you live longer, it also lowers your risk of cognitive impairment. Hence why you see Italian Nonnas (grandmothers) playing chess, cooking up a storm and drinking wine way into their 90s.
Organic olive oil, vinegar & wine are three staples in the Mediteraneann diet so I guess what we’re saying is… Subscribing to Origin Organics is not only a culinary experience but one that will help you live a long and happy life!
Origin Organics was inspired by the culture and lifestyle of rural Europe. The food, the people, the scenery. We wanted to provide a link to small farms, far away from UK supermarket shelves. If we can do that, help the health of the planet and the health of our customers, then we can rest happily in the sun with a nice glass of juicy Pinot Noir (the world’s healthiest wine).
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Join the UK’s first organic olive oil, vinegar & wine club. Be a part of our journey linking rural Europe with UK kitchens.