Tag: Health

Fruits and vegetables in June: what to buy – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Summer is now upon us, and will finally bring with it the fruit and vegetables of June, good, sweet and colourful: melons and peaches, above all. Even if the undisputed protagonists of the month are them: strawberries and cherries. Here are the seasonal fruits and vegetables of the month June.

June fruit and vegetables

Goodbye oranges, welcome corns

Before delving into the fruits of summer, however, it is worth mentioning those products which, in June, fire their last cartridges. The oranges of Italian production are now fewer and fewer, only the last harvest of May remains Valencia and of oval, in addition to those stored in cold storage. June, like May, is the period of strawberries, which arrive on the counters of shops and supermarkets mainly from the regions of Southern Italy. In May we tasted the first ones cherriesbut it is in June that we can find the best ones: i Vignola cornsbut also those of Verona and the Apulian varieties.

Melons: make sure they are ripe

Green light for the first ones melonseven if it needs to be done Attention because fruits can be found still not very ripe and devoid of their typical sweetness. To choose the right one you need to press the two ends: the melon must not be too hard or too soft. If it is still too unripe, you can keep it out of the fridge for a few more days to let it ripen. For the watermelon It’s still a little early, but with a little attention you can already find very sweet watermelons. To recognize the best ones, you need to check that the peel is an intense green color, without bruises, while the point where it touches the ground must be creamy yellow. If it is green, then it is still unripe. The “tapping” method is also valid: a “dull” noise indicates a ripe fruit.

All the colors of peaches

The period of white-fleshed peaches: after the yellow ones, which could already be found in May, in supermarkets and shops you will also be able to find the delicious snuffbox peaches. At the end of the month it will also be the turn of apricots. Among berries, the harvest period also begins in June raspberriesof the currant and of wild strawberries.

Do strawberries raise blood sugar? – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay


It is true that the strawberries they raise blood sugar? When it comes to fruit and blood sugar levels, there are many false beliefs, as are the doubts that revolve around the topic. So whether strawberries raise blood sugar is a question that arises not only among those who suffer from diabetes or have the problem of high blood sugar, but also those who simply want to keep their blood sugar levels under control, which can fluctuate over time. increase the risk of being overweight and of a series of disorders and diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Strawberries, in season from April to July, are first and foremost a functional food with numerous health benefits, as highlighted by a review by Education. But do strawberries raise blood sugar? We turned the question to Francesca Berettanutritional biologist, author of the book Belly down… cheer up!.

What is the glycemic index of strawberries?

«The consumption of strawberries, like all fruit, raises glycemia, i.e. the level of sugar in the blood because it contains sugars, including fructose. However, you shouldn’t worry too much about this effect because strawberries have a low glycemic index” explains nutritionist Francesca Beretta. «By eating strawberries, blood sugar levels will rise very slowly, without glycemic peaks, therefore without the rapid variations which, over time, make you gain weight and create health problems, including diabetes. This fruit in fact has a glycemic index of 25 and therefore a slightly lower impact on blood sugar levels even than many other seasonal fruits such as apricots and plums. This is due to the presence of fibers which slow down the absorption of sugars and allow the slow release of energy.”

Can those suffering from high blood sugar eat strawberries?

«Absolutely yes says nutritionist Francesca Beretta. «The belief that diabetic people cannot eat fruit is false. Even those who suffer from high blood sugar can eat fruit, as long as they do so in the right quantities and preferring varieties with a lower glycemic index, such as strawberries, which are among the fruits that least raise blood sugar levels and can therefore be consumed without problems.”

How many strawberries can you eat every day?

“The guidelines for healthy eating they recommend the consumption of three portions of fruit a day, approximately equal to 300 or 400 grams” says nutritionist Francesca Beretta. «The ideal would be to rotate the different seasonal varieties to ensure excellent diversity of nutrients. Let’s say that you can easily consume up to 3 ounces of strawberries a day, which corresponds more or less to around twenty fruits.” The health benefits? Strawberries, as highlighted in several studies, are a mine of antioxidants that help counteract oxidative stress and inflammatory states. In fact, they contain a high quantity of anthocyanins, pigments responsible for their red colour, polyphenols, ellagitannins and flavonones. Recently published research has highlighted that strawberries are a useful source of vitamin C and folic acid and may help improve the antioxidant potential of low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol, in healthy young women.

When to eat strawberries?

Is it better to eat strawberries for breakfast, after meals, or as a snack? In reality, any time of day is the right time to consume fruit, including strawberries. «Personally I recommend consuming them as snacks between one main meal and another. In fact, strawberries have a good satiating power, due to the large quantity of water and fibre, and provide very few kilocalories, around 30 per 100 grams. They are also good at the end of a meal. A couple of strawberries are an excellent solution to quench the craving for dessert that may appear at the end of lunch or dinner.”

How to combine strawberries at the table to avoid raising blood sugar levels?

«Fortunately, strawberries have a low glycemic index. This means that the impact on blood sugar is very small. To tone it down further, you can consume strawberries as a snack together with some hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts. The fats and proteins in nuts will help maintain the glycemic curve, without forming peaks.”

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What is Green MED, the modified Mediterranean Diet – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay


The modified Mediterranean diet, also called Green Med, is the latest version of the Mediterranean diet. In recent years, this new nutritional model has been at the center of several studies, which investigate how changes to the diet considered the healthiest in the world can further lower the risk of incurring disorders and diseases and contribute to good health. The conclusion reached by the scientists is that the green Mediterranean diet is even more effective than the “traditional” version for lowering the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and for contributing to longevity. To find out more about the modified Mediterranean diet, we asked the nutritionist some questions Lucia Bacciottinispecialist in food science and former teacher of nutraceuticals and integrated nutrition atUniversity of Florencewhich was the forerunner in Italy years ago, promoting the flexitarian diet or flexible, a predominantly plant-based diet with little protein of animal origin.

What is Green MED, the modified Mediterranean diet

«The modified Mediterranean diet, also known as Green MED, is a Mediterranean diet (MED) further enriched with foods of plant origin and in particular focused on the action of polyphenols which are bioactive molecules contained in fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «The increase in polyphenols at the table guarantees an epigenetic action both oriented towards the activation and deactivation of functional DNA genes, favoring the protection mechanisms for health and longevity.

What do you eat in the modified Mediterranean diet

«The Green MED or modified Mediterranean diet, in addition to being characterized by larger portions of fresh seasonal vegetables, does not include the use of red meat, except occasionally and completely excludes processed meats (cold cuts and sausages of all types). It also excludes refined white flours and all derived products together with simple sugars and sweets, which can only be consumed occasionally” explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «Another aspect that characterizes the modified Mediterranean diet is the presence of green tea, 4-5 cups per day, and walnuts (28 g per day, approximately 5-6 walnuts). And finally the presence of a new food, the so-called duckweedMankai, which has a high protein content and is also very rich in iron, vitamins – in particular the mineral vitamin B12 – and polyphenols and due to these structural biochemical characteristics it acts as a substitute for meat”.

Green and classic Mediterranean diet: the differences

«The Mediterranean diet, notoriously, represents a traditional, healthy and sustainable diet model and scientifically correlated with the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «The Mediterranean diet as we know it has been much studied and scientifically validated as a diet capable of containing the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies with particular reference to diabetes and, to date, it represents the scientific reference for the drafting of guidelines that allow contain the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease due to the richness of polyphenols, biologically active substances present in vegetables, the presence of healthy fats, i.e. polyunsaturated fats and also due to reduced portions of proteins of animal origin” says the expert. «But the scientists went further and wanted to research and scientifically validate whether a version of the Mediterranean diet that features even more daily portions of green vegetables and with a further reduction in proteins of animal origin, with the complete exclusion of red meat, could contribute better at maintaining health and containing metabolic and cardiovascular pathologies” says the expert.

What scientists have discovered about the modified Mediterranean diet: the studies

«The first study to investigate the possible benefits of green Mediterranean diet it was DIRECT-PLUS study (Dietary Intervention Randomized Clinical Trial Polyphenols Unprocessed Study), which introduced the very concept of green-mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenols and has highlighted its advantages both in terms of intrahepatic fat loss compared to other healthy nutritional strategies, and in halving NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” From other studies that have been conducted over time, it has emerged that a diet rich in polyphenols such as the modified Mediterranean diet can primarily benefit the health of the heart and intestines, but can also be an excellent strategy to combat aging including the cerebral one. “One study published in the scientific journal Heart highlighted that a green Mediterranean diet compared to the traditional one has greater advantages in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure compared to the traditional one, while another subsequent study published in Genome Medicine highlighted that thanks to the richness of polyphenols, the green Mediterranean diet is an excellent strategy for keeping the intestine and its microbiome healthy, positively modifying its composition. A further study published onAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutritionalso highlighted how the green Mediterranean diet helps protect against age-related cognitive changes.”

Who is the modified Mediterranean diet suitable for?

«The modified Mediterranean diet is suitable for everyone and can be adopted from childhood to geriatric age. Athletes and sedentary people can follow it, modulating the doses of the various permitted foods and varying the proportions between foods. The only important attention, regarding the adoption of the Green MED, is for people who present transient or subchronic or chronic symptoms of inflammation of the colon, if the medical specialists have advised to modulate the dietary intake of fibre, of which, as is known, plant products are very rich. Even those sensitive to nickel must consult medical specialists to understand what to choose and possibly limit the vegetables that are richer in it.”

What to eat in the modified Mediterranean diet: an example of a menu

Breakfast: wholemeal oat flakes with plain yogurt and strawberries or blueberries, green tea.

Snack: 3 nuts and a seasonal fruit.

Lunch: mixed salad of fresh seasonal vegetables with grilled salmon and steamed vegetables and fresh seasonal fruit, green tea.

Snack: toasted legumes and 2 nuts.

Dinner: vegetable soup with fresh seasonal vegetables and aromatic herbs and bread made with wholemeal stone-ground wheat flour with oilseeds and chickpea and avocado hummus, green tea.

green med
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