photo by: Ella’s Kitchen Company Limited

In this article we will present you 4 not so common food ingredients that you can easily access and have amazing properties – in fact, people from the Mediterranean consume them regularly.

Turkish coffee:

Drinking 1-2 cups per day) seems that protect the arteries of seniors that have high blood pressure.  The results have been recently published at the Cardiology Department of The Medical School of Athens, and have been presented at the Annual Convention of Cardiology in Stockholm.

Greek doctors researched people from the island of Ikaria, examining 485 people in total between 65-100 years old (!) all having a high blood pressure – the island is known for the longevity of its inhabitants.

The doctors found out that when drinking Turkish coffee, the walls of the arteries presented greater elasticity from those who consumed less than two cups or none.

The effects of coffee in the arteries are due to the flavonoids which are antioxidant properties within the coffee molecules.

Turkish coffee is a great choice when we want to reduce caffeine. Because it is grind into a fine powder and then boiled with water, with no distillation as filter coffee, when poured into a cup the powder sits at the bottom of the cup, thus getting less caffeine this way.

In addition, Turkish coffee is consumed via a small cup (like an espresso cup) so you get considerably less caffeine.

 

Mastic

For those who do not know, mastic is the original gum. Made exclusively in the island of Chios, Greece, since the ancient times, it is a resin coming out of the mastic tree.  According to Wikipedia: “The aromatic, ivory-coloured resin, also known as mastic, is harvested as a spice from the cultivated mastic trees grown in the south of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea, where it is also known by the name “Chios tears”. Originally liquid, it is hardened, when the weather turns cold, into drops or patties of hard, brittle, translucent resin. When chewed, the resin softens and becomes a bright white and opaque gum.”

Mastic oils have antioxidants, and are especially useful for stomach pains. Research performed from the Harocopio University in Greece, discovered that can fight the Crohn disease which is connected to the stomach. Patients with this disease consumed mastic powder presented improved clinical condition, so research is continued.

 

Crocus or Saffron

Crocus is a spice coming from the crocus plant and gives flavour and colour in the foods. It is best used in rice, fish soups and many sauces.

It has stimulant and aphrodisiac properties and it is a high priced spice. Research showed that when consumed regularly can help fighting cancer, as well as depression.

 

Wine or Ouzo

It is widely known that drinking one glass of wine or another alcoholic beverage during or after meals (one only, not getting wasted!) can have beneficial properties to our cardiac and artery system.

Alternatively try ouzo. Ouzo is made from aniseed which has anxiolytic properties for our bowel, is considered antitussive and in any case, helps bad breath!

Aniseed also helps absorbing iron from other foods.

As many people think that is Ouzo is consumed straight, please don’t! In a tall glass, add less than one third ouzo and then fill the rest with water and ice. It immediately becomes cloudy and it is ready to be enjoyed.

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