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well-being properties and variety of the most popular dried fruit – Italian Cuisine


They are a healthy snack, with or without shell, and become an ally for a healthy break. Science has confirmed this for a long time nuts and the walnuts in particular they are beneficial to health. Eat three nuts a day it is good for the heart, it reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cholesterol, thanks to the presence of "good" omega3, omega 6 and arginine fats. They are also an important source of antioxidants due to the presence of vitamin E, but also B1 and B6. In short, walnuts are authentic superfood, a panacea for our well-being.

Among the best-selling nuts

171820Walnuts are the best-selling nuts in Italy, and according to the latest report by Nucis Italia, an association of the main companies in the sector, it is estimated a consumption of about 50 thousand tons, practically a tenth of the European one.

Of Persian origins, walnut has been cultivated in Italy since Roman times, but production has suffered a certain decline over time. In recent years, given the decidedly growing consumption trend, attention has also returned to those Italian regions traditionally suited to this production, including Campania, Lazio, Veneto and Emilia Romagna and the Nuts are on the rise again.

Meanwhile, new varieties of nuts from different parts of the world have also become part of our usual consumption, helping to raise world production. Some are better known both in Italy and in Europe, other varieties begin to appear on our markets only recently, but we are talking about quality and rich in nutrients.

Nuts from the world

171823The pecan nuts, originating in the southern United States and Mexico, they have a rich and buttery taste that makes them one of the favorite ingredients in the kitchen and pastry of the United States. Pecan nuts production is expected to increase by 10% compared to last year, which is important for understanding market trends.

The macadamia nuts, coming from Australia, have a sweet and delicate taste, are rich in minerals, vitamins and monounsaturated fatty acids and therefore with multiple beneficial properties. But, look at the calories of these oil seeds. They are quite widespread and the total yields of macadamia nuts even increase by 19%.

The Brazil nuts, very famous, arrive directly from the heart of Amazonia. Rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant, they have a flavor that is very reminiscent of coconut. They are to be consumed without excess, as it is a very caloric food. Among the many benefits are the thyroid, mood, digestion and the immune system.

Lesser-known varieties

171829The red walnuts, similar in every way to the common walnut, differ in the red kernel. The taste is delicate and very oily, they are the result of a natural cross between the common walnut and Persian walnut. It is a particularly rare variety and therefore also with a rather high cost on the market.

The Mongongo nuts, sweet and nutritious, they are a precious and widespread fruit in Namibia and in south-western Africa where they are a food very consumed by the local population. A precious oil for cosmetic use is also extracted from these nuts.

The Kemiri nuts, or candle nuts, a variety native to Indonesia, rich in oils, is widely used both in cosmetics and in local cuisine. The large amount of oil present in these nuts allows it to be used as candles (that's why the name nuts candle).

Mariacristina Coppeto
March 2019

Photo credits: Pixabay

Inflammatory foods: the relationship between food and well-being – Italian Cuisine


Food and well-being have always gone hand in hand, even if in recent times it seems that this awareness has been a bit lost, thanks to a lot of misinformation, especially on the topic food intolerance. Food is not an enemy to be opposed and it is clear that the only two intolerances accepted by science are gluten and lactose. That said, there are some foods that affect, among other things, the regulation of inflammatory processes and can bring an increase in the blood of some cytokines, those proteins produced by different types of immune cells.

Inflammation from food
"Inflammation is perceived by everyone – explains the Dr. Attilio Speciani, allergist and immunologist, expert in food intolerances – and all have a fair sense of the existence of a relationship between what is eaten and the state of well-being". Numerous studies, in recent years, have allowed us to accurately assess the relationship between what we eat and the rise of cytokines very specific, a precise connection between food-related symptoms and increase of BAFF (important inflammatory substance) both in blood and intestinal.

169512"The inflammatory response is in many cases individual – Speciani continues – and must be carefully studied to help the nutritional resolution of many diseases. Typically, it depends on the systematic repetition of some foods. A 2014 Cai study showed that while in Europe "inflammatory" foods for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases are Milk, Gluten and Yeast, in China, for the same disorders the foods involved are Rice, Soy and Corn".

What is the Food Inflammation Test?
There is a very simple test, the Food Inflammation Test, able to assess the level of inflammation present in the body and its personal food profile. Two particular cytokines are dosed BAFF is PAF and the results become key tools to identify a personalized diet that aims to reduce the inflammatory state and therefore, the incidence of certain diseases such as some types of migraines, arthritis or colitis. The test consists of a small sample of capillary blood from the fingertip, performed in a subsidiary center Recaller or Biomarkers and analyzed in a specialized laboratory, with based in Rome at the University of Tor Vergata whose results are processed to obtain a final report.

Are anti-inflammatory foods available?
"The variety is already anti-inflammatory in itself – replies the dott. Attilio Speciani – then there are other aspects that help to define the inflammatory or anti-inflammatory value of a series of foods. Their richness in isoflavones, in phytofenols, in minerals and vitamins. The more a food is rich in raw and vital substances the more anti-inflammatory it is in general. For example, the tomato lycopene, which develops only when cooked, makes some exceptions. From recent studies it has also been seen that foods 169476super-refined have a pro-inflammatory action. We use them only occasionally, giving preference to foods, even industrial ones, which have undergone few changes. And on the anti-inflammatory choice we remember that the sweetened products have a value that promotes inflammation and that since 2006 the Harvard School of Medicine has defined the correct distribution of carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal as one of the most important anti-inflammatory actions independently managed to feel better , lose weight, stimulate the metabolism and control the inflammatory levels of the whole organism".

The rotation diet
To reduce inflammation e promote food tolerance It is essential to set up a rotation diet. Within the week, some days are established in which one abstains from foods taken in excess or to which one has a reactivity, and of the days during which the same foods are progressively reintroduced. A way to discover valid food alternatives find a relationship of friendship with food. A little 'as happens with the technique that is put in place during child weaning. The test report indicates a personalized diet to be followed in total autonomy with the support of a free online MD4.me platform (Medical Doctor for Me) dedicated to patients.

To stay fit and regain general well-being it is clear that every choice should be studied on the individual subject, but the variety of daily nutrition, the dominance of fresh and rich in bioactive substances, together with the control of excess sugar and the balancing of proteins and carbohydrates in every meal, represent a good food practice to prevent food inflammation.

Mariacristina Coppeto
January 2019

Virtues, uses and secrets of honey, an ally of well-being – Italian Cuisine


A natural remedy for the most disparate problems, already used by ancient civilizations – such as the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks, the Romans – for its numerous healing properties and its versatility in the kitchen. We talk about honey, the sweet and precious product of bees, obtained from the nectar of flowers, fromstrongly energetic action and rich in beneficial substances for our health.

Honey is indeed a true concentrate of Welfare: contains vitamins, enzymes and minerals (among which iron and calcium) and simple sugars (in particular fructose), which make it an effective dietary supplement. It also features a remarkable sweetening power, for which it is often suggested as an alternative to sugar, in virtue of the lower caloric intake, due to the presence of fructose.

But the most interesting aspect of the nectar of the Gods is linked to his antibacterial capacity is disinfectant.
He explains it well Daniele Scala, beekeeper and holder of giveDA Honey, small (in terms of size) but large (in terms of quality, care of the crops) Piedmontese production reality that we were lucky to get to know through some days of in-depth study on the subject directly in the field. giveDA Honey is the demonstration of how a great passion can be born products of excellence, because everything is taken care of in every detail, from the choice of bees to the production process, with the essential goal of quality and organoleptic conservation of the product (as well as the properties) .

clarifies Daniele Scala: "The therapeutic virtues attributed to honey over time, handed down by folk medicine or reported by more or less specialized texts, are numerous. However, even if some of these actions have been occasionally verified, there is a lack of proper clinical experimentation able to support every specific statement, because honey is a product never identical to itself, never stable ".

Antibacterial and disinfectant

139101Continue the holder of giveDA Honey "It has instead been verified antibacterial activity both in honey as it is in diluted solutions. Action due to sugar concentration and acid pH. An enzyme present in honey under dilution conditions produces hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide), which gives antimicrobial activity to water and honey solutions. "And here is a brief explanation of its numerous applications.

For wounds and burns of the skin

Among the applications of honey, not least the external one in case of wounds, burns, ulcers. Also highlights L 'Unaapi-Unione National Italian Beekeepers Associations, on the website of the Association: "The antibacterial activity of honey also derives from factors depending on the floral origin and the territory" and specifies: "Honey provides glucose to keratinocytes, the most common cells in the skin, which must migrate to the surface of a wound to reform the skin tissue. The antioxidants contained in honey also contribute to neutralizing free radicals, molecules that have a destructive effect on components of the injured tissue, and also to inhibit their formation ".

The importance of fructose

Daniele Scala also stresses the importance of fructose: "Most of the recognized benefits can be traced back to a generic trophic action and toemollient effect, blandly laxative, hepatic protector e detoxifying fructose. The percentage of fructose varies from honey to honey ".

As an emollient for respiratory diseases

152877Among the most common uses, what concerns the prevention and care of respiratory disorders, such as cough, bronchitis, cold and sinusitis. In this case you can use honeys from the particular expectorant and balsamic action, like that of eucalyptus, alpine herbs, fir. Also indicated linden honey.

As an energizer

141203The millefiori, which is good for everyone, is perfect to combat lack of appetite, fatigue, physical fatigue, because complete and definitely energizing. It is in fact produced by different types of flowers and for this reason it has numerous beneficial properties.

Attention to the quality of the product

A very important factor in the choice always remains the quality, the first guarantee of beneficial effects on our health. First of all we must make sure that it is a natural honey, that it is recognized by the smell which must be strong and pungent and with a flavor, rich in nuances and not just sweet. It is necessary to inquire about the type of processing, which makes the difference.

Avoid high temperatures, in processing and consumption

giveDA Honey for example, following a particular process, essential for obtaining a creamy consistency and not damaging the beneficial effects of the product. Warns Daniele Scala: "Often honey is submitted to high temperature because it is easier to process smoother masses and to market a more liquid product. With a negative aspect: this compromises his property. In fact, honey heating leads to an increase in the speed of the biochemical reactions that accompany its aging; it accelerates the destruction of the enzymes and the oxidation of fructose, responsible for its many virtues. We of giveDA Honey for example we use a processing technique where honey crystallizes naturally in the pails where it is stored, (it is left for about 8 hours in a 25/26 degree warm chamber, worked with a honey-cutter and homogenized for another 8 hours with a special mixer). In this way, its characteristics and properties are maintained ".

Two tricks to take advantage of its properties

157205In addition to the type of processing, in order to protect the characteristics of the product, attention must also be paid to the consumption phase.
Points out Daniele Scala: "Baking or using honey in boiling water alters its properties when we prepare one tisane it is good let the water cool down before sweetening. "

Another interesting precaution, in this case from a gastronomic point of view, concerns the particular ability of honey to absorb and give water to the surrounding environment. That's why, suggests Daniele, combined with fresh fruit is able to create a delicious sauce on the bottom and you need instead avoid serving it with cheeses, but serving it separately, realizing this marvelous union immediately before eating.

Elisa Nata
January 2018
updated October 2018
from Elisa Nata