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Story and Science Behind the Magic of Olives

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Did you know that ancient olive trees originated in Turkey?

Well, at least that’s according to my knowledge. Olive trees have made a great impact on the civilizations of the Mediterranean for more than 4,000 years. Olives provide people with food, medicines and nourishing creams. Olives were not only cultivated here in Turkey, they were actually widespread and covered the Mediterranean coast. From Syria to Tunisia, from Greece to Italy, and from Crete to Spain, olives have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. It was surprising for me to learn the leafy branches of olive trees were even found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Although Hippocrates called olive oil “the great therapeutic,” in ancient Greece women used olive oil for cosmetic reasons as well. Olive oil was used on ancient Greek women’s skin and hair after bathing as protection from the elements and to maintain a pleasant fragrance.

Moreover, olive oil was also mixed with grounded charcoal to create an eye shadow. The olive tree, or its branch, has been seen as a symbol of peace, victory and the endurance of life itself throughout history for most Mediterranean people. They say that it actually evokes feelings of harmony, vitality, and health. To be honest, my family is one of those who believe in the beneficial effects and beauty of olive trees. The leafy branches of the olive tree were used in powerful figures as emblems of faith and purification. Moreover, the branches were ritually offered to gods as well.

There was magic in olive trees for sure. But it is hard to explain why they were used as symbols of victory, be it when crowns were fashioned for the winners of friendly games or the victors of bloody wars.

Olive oil was so precious that it was used to massage kings and athletes in ancient Greece. Greeks used the dried branches to burn in the blessed lamps of temples, also known as the “eternal flame,” which has become a symbol of the Olympic Games.

Now there are more than 10 million hectares of olive trees planted worldwide, including the ones in my garden. Although olive trees originated in Turkey, Spain is now the largest single producer of olives with an average of more than 6 million tons every year. Italy comes in second with approximately 3.5 million tons and is followed by Greece with 2.5 million tons annually. In the 1950s, Ancel Keys of the University of Minnesota realized that the Mediterranean geography has something special to offer and published an analysis based on data collected over a period of 20 years on the correlation between cardiovascular diseases and eating habits on 12,000 males from Italy, the Greek Islands, Yugoslavia, Holland, Finland, Japan and the U.S.

The results showed that although people residing on the Greek islands consume high amounts of oil, they develop almost no coronary heart diseases and have a longer life expectancy. Keys was the first researcher to link health with regional eating habits and introduced the phrase “Mediterranean diet.”

Although there are 15 countries around the Mediterranean, they all have similar eating habits. But what is the key element of the Mediterranean diet? The answer would be high consumption of vegetables and fruit, a variety of foods in the diet, correct oil choice and consumption of the right carbohydrates. Yet, it is best to insist on mentioning “olive oil” whenever we speak of Mediterranean style eating.

Let’s not forget that the Mediterranean diet is not a completely oil-free diet. It includes olive oil rich in oleic acid known as “healthy fats.” Some research has suggested that olive oil actually helps prevent heart disease. For example, it was shown that triglycerides actually help inflammation and prevent blood clotting while also improving the functioning of veins. Extra-virgin olive oil is proven to increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels. But we recommend the natural extra-virgin olive oil produced by coldpress methods. Both olives and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil have been studied for their potential beneficial effects on health.

Both have a tremendous effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, both olives and olive oil have blood-thinning effects that could in turn help prevent an inappropriate blood clot formation causing embolic events or even heart attacks.

The antioxidant phenols found in olives and olive oil such as hydroxytyrosol aid antimicrobial, blood thinner and blood vessel dilating activity. Anti-inflammatory properties of foods are now very popular in research. Recently, a new phenol named oleocanthal was discovered in olive oil.

Oleocanthal was shown to have a natural anti-inflammatory effect that was scientifically comparable to the actions of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that we use from time to time. If your olive oil has a slightly bitter but flavorful peppery taste, then its concentration of oleocanthal is high enough to say it’s high-quality oil.

Additional research has shown that olive oil might possess qualities which prevent cancer as well. The constituent that is found related to anti-cancer activity is not a phenol itself but a monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Oleic acid was shown to help inhibiting a gene n a m e d Her-2/neu or Her-2, also known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. This gene is overexpressed in aggressive breast cancers. Scientists also believe that in the future olive oil might be used as a supplementary treatment for breast cancer when the Her-2 gene is found to be positive for a type of cancer. Apart from being popular due to their flavor and dark greenish color, Kalamata olives are special for their high phenol constituents. In addition to oleocanthal, Kalamata olives have hydroxytyrosol, which is a phenol that may help in preventing DNA damage. Apart from the off-site beneficial effects, olive oil is also beneficial for the gastro-intestinal system. It may act as a protective agent to the inner layer of your intestines and thus prevent colon cancer!

Additionally, a substance called maslinic acid was found in the skin of olives. Some research has shown that maslinic acid may contribute to increasing programmed cell death in colon cancers, resulting in control of tumor size!

The extract of olive leaves contains the antioxidant compound oleuropein, which is typically removed from olives through curing and could have potential therapeutic effects.

As magical tales of olives are still being told today, scientists are researching the potential health benefits of eating more olives and olive-based products to find other potentially beneficial effects. One of the last ones is oleuropein. Preliminary data suggest this extract can reduce blood pressure almost like low-dose hypertension medicine! And not only this, olive leaves were found to contribute to lowering LDL cholesterol levels as well.

In the traditional Mediterranean diet, you should be eating about 8-10 olives or ingesting 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil a day. You may use olive oil to dip your bread into or use it while cooking food under low heat.

Higher quality oils have a higher smoking temperature. In general, studies also suggest that black olives are higher in phenols and antioxidant activity than green ones.

This obviously doesn’t mean that you should be using olive oil to treat disease but all this should guide us on changing our lifestyles.

If we replace the bad food in our diets with healthier options like olives then we should be living a healthier lifestyle and we probably will continue to spread the magical tales about olives.

English Articles

Vitamin-Rich Foods

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Vitamin-Rich Foods

As we age, our body changes and it is crucial to support it with vitamin-rich foods to keep up with the chaos of everyday life.

When you pass 40, even if you still feel like you are 18, your body is well aware that time has passed! If you are thinking “I have a lot to do,” then you should start supplementing your body starting today. If you have not paid much attention to your nutrition so far, your body may warn you soon if it has not warned you already.

As we age, muscle mass begins deteriorating, the chance of gaining weight increases, menopause might start and the risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases increases. Be mindful of any warning signs and take precautions! Vitamin supplements and some foods can help you live a long and healthy life.

It is important to eat well at every age but as the body ages and its internal mechanisms change (especially around the age of 40), the importance becomes even more evident. This is why it is important to eat well and take precautions especially at younger ages. If you decide to take supplements, consulting your doctor is the most important thing to do. They will offer you the best advice.

We can list some vitamins that are important at every age but get even more important from age 40 on as follows.


Potassium has a major role in regulating blood pressure regardless of age. A study on postmenopausal women has shown that getting a high daily intake of potassium through meals is linked to a decrease in stroke risk. The study defined high potassium intake as 3.1 grams per day.

In short, if you feel weak and tired throughout the day, have high blood pressure, experience occasional muscle spasms in your legs and health palpitations; you might be suffering from potassium deficiency.

The best way to take more potassium is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Even though bananas are the first fruit to come to mind when we think about potassium-rich foods, there are some other foods that have higher potassium contents.

Potassium-rich foods include:

Potatoes (medium size) 941 milligrams

Earth apples (medium size) 542 mg

Tomato sauce (1 cup) 728 mg

Melons 641 mg

Spinach (1 bowl) 540 mg

Beets (1 bowl) 518 mg

Beans (1 bowl) 1189 mg

Salmon (1 can) 480 mg

Zucchini (1 cup) 582 mg

Chard (1 cup of cooked chard) 961 mg

Yogurt (1 bowl) 573 mg

It is not very likely that you will take a dangerous amount of potassium through your daily meals. Before taking potassium supplements, you should definitely consult your doctor since too much potassium can harm your gastrointestinal system and heart and might even cause life-threatening heart palpitations. If potassium supplements are prescribed by your doctor, they must observe the resultant effects on you.

Vitamin B12

After the age of 40, vitamin B12 should definitely be on your list to maintain normal blood and brain functions. Children and young people get their supply of B12 through foods such as fish, poultry, red meat, milk and milk products, eggs and other animal products. But as the body ages, it becomes harder to absorb the vitamin through such foods. This happens around the age of 50 due to a drop in the acidity of the stomach.

Between the ages of 40 and 50 is a good time to begin taking B12 through food supplements or multivitamins. Taking 2.4 mg of B12 every day will meet your body’s needs. Don’t worry about taking too much. Since B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, your body will only absorb the necessary amount.


Calcium is still a subject of heavy research. According to 59 studies done to evaluate the role calcium plays in preventing bone fractures among men and women above the age of 50, the probability that high calcium intake might lower the risk of fractures is low.

Even though most of the calcium bones need is absorbed in the earlier stages of our lives (before the age of 30), our diet afterwards plays a significant role in maintaining bone health. Basic biochemical bodily functions such as the functioning of muscles, nerves and the heart require the consumption of high nutritional value food.

If your daily calcium intake is not enough, your body will extract the deficient amount from your bones, resulting in a weaker body. This means that you will still need to maintain a sufficient level of daily calcium intake past the age of 40, however more calcium does not necessarily mean more benefits and at some level it might even impact your heart negatively.

Maintaining a varied diet with plenty of calcium-rich foods such as milk, broccoli, almonds, spinach, soy cheese and sardines will help you take the amount of calcium your body needs every day, which is about 1000 mg for women between the ages of 40 and 50 and 1,200 for women above 50.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is especially important for people over the age of 40 since studies have shown that diabetes, heart diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS) along with lung and colon cancers are linked to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also necessary for efficient calcium intake of the body.

Foods such as fish, grains and grain products contain vitamin D, but the absorption of the vitamin from such sources is not very efficient. Sunlight exposure is the best way to ensure sufficient vitamin D intake, although not everyone lives close enough to the equator to make this method viable.

Some research suggests taking D3 supplements because D3 is the vitamin type that resembles vitamin D caused by sunlight exposure the closest. U.S. National Institutes of Health recommend that the daily intake of vitamin D should not be below 600 IU (800 IU for people older than the age of 50). Highest level of daily intake at which no adverse effects occur is stated to be 4,000 IU.


One of the most important functions of Magnesium is that it helps regulate blood pressure, especially among women above the age of 40 who are at risk of suffering from hypertension caused by aging.

Studies have shown that complications such as heart diseases, diabetes and inflammations are linked to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium also helps the body absorb calcium more efficiently, helps regulate blood sugar levels and has beneficial effects on muscles, nerves and the heart.

If you suspect that you might be suffering from magnesium deficiency, you can get your magnesium levels tested by your doctor.

If you have a healthy and balanced diet, your magnesium intake can be sufficiently satisfied via foods like dark leafy greens, beans, soy, nuts and avocados. Taking too much magnesium does not pose serious risks but may cause diarrhea, stomach aches and cramps.


Even though omega-3 is not technically a vitamin, it deserves to be on this list due to its many benefits to the body. It prevents some negative effects of aging, prevents the increase of heart disease risk and helps prevent the decrease of cognitional ability.

Research has shown that omega-3 plays a role in decreasing blood pressure, maintaining healthy LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and keeping a sharp memory. A recent study has shown that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood have bigger brains and perform better in memory tests and in areas like abstract thinking and planning compared to people with lower levels. This result has shown that omega-3 also helps maintain a healthy brain along with its previously known benefits.

You can take omega-3 from foods such as fish, walnuts, flaxseed and leafy vegetables. Taking supplements will ensure that you are consuming enough omega-3. In both situations you should seek daily intake levels of 500 mg if you are healthy, between 800 and 1,000 mgs if you are suffering from a heart disease and between 2,000 and 4,000 mgs if you have high levels of triglyceride. If you are taking anticoagulants, be sure to consult your doctor about your dose.

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English Articles

Fighting Against Migraines

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fighting against migraines

When your migraine starts, it can make you feel like no painkiller or medicine can relieve your pain, but the situation isn’t as scary as you think. In this article, we will give tips for fighting against migraines.

A headache is one of the diseases that affect social life. It, sometimes, can’t even be prevented with medicine. If it isn’t taken seriously, it can bring with it many illnesses like a migraine.A migraine is a disease that was mentioned for the first time by Hippocrates of Kos in B.C. 400. It is interesting that it still has no real treatment.

Recent studies describe a migraine as an inflammation of the brain.The pain of a migraine can continue for three days, and it is generally a severe and throbbing pain on the one side of the head.There are tons of healing foods for a migraine, just like there are many foods that can cause headaches, such as caffeine, potato chips and milk.Here are things you can do to ease the continuous pain that you can’t make sense of with natural methods. The recipes written below are foods that prevent a migraine.

Cure-all ginger

Go to your kitchen now and check your ginger stock. If you don’t have ginger powder, known as sonth, or dried ginger, go to the market at once.

Ginger can affect your life in ways you can’t imagine. When ginger is mentioned, we all know that it is good for nausea. However, ginger can be good for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), headaches and many other diseases.

Ginger is the most efficacious for migraines but would you like to know what other things it can benefit? If your answer is yes, keep reading below.

It decreases migraine: Ginger can prevent a trip to the emergency room. Its key point is the interceptive talent of prostaglandin synthesis. Therefore, it prevents the swelling of blood vessels and their pressure. In a survey, it was revealed that ginger powder is as effective as common migraine medicines. Furthermore, ginger helps prevent nausea after a migraine.

It increases immunity: When you drink ginger tea, you can decrease nasal obstruction or other symptoms of the cold. Ginger is full of antioxidants boosting the immunity and is a natural painkiller or antifebrile.

It prevents swelling and pain in joints: It helps decrease the inflammation and pain in joints, which are caused by arthritis, as it contains anti-inflammatory materials that can prevent inflammatory cytokines.

It eases muscle pains: Don’t forget to consume ginger before going to the gym so you don’t feel pain after exercising. Surveys observed that ginger, which is known as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory food, eases muscle pains after exercises.

In a survey, participants who are given two grams of ginger per day (a soupspoon of fresh grated ginger or a 3/4 teaspoon of ginger powder) felt 25 percent less pain than the others who are given ineffective medicine 24 hours after the gym.

It prevents abdominal swelling: Ginger has various effects, doesn’t it? Well, you can also describe ginger as a warrior against swelling. Its components warn digestive juice and digestive organs. It includes zingibain, which is a proteolytic enzyme. This causes it to be a key food for a flat tummy.

Green your plate

A suggestion to prevent a headache is to eat dark green leafy vegetables. Spinach, cabbage, arugula, beet greens and lettuce are some of the vegetables that decrease the bad effects of chronic illnesses.

Especially spinach, rich in omega-3, is one of the vegetables whose good effects on migraines have been proven. It is determined that B2 vitamin is effective in decreasing the frequency, density and period of headaches.

The thing you should be careful about is choosing the freshest vegetables, the leaves should be dark. Don’t forget, the color of a plant shows its nutritive value.

Snacks in bags

Don’t forget to keep a few of your favorite nuts nearby when you going through another migraine. Studies have shown that people with intense headaches and migraines have a lower magnesium ratio than others.

In a study, migraine exposure frequency was reduced at a rate of 41 percent with magnesium supplementation.

Almonds, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts and walnut are the snacks that are full of magnesium. Therefore, don’t forget about these snacks.

Whole-wheat cereals, indispensable for meals

One of the simplest headache treatments is the excess consumption of whole grain cereals. Hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood sugar levels are known to trigger headaches.

Do not skip meals to avoid migraines associated with hypoglycemia; eat mixed carbohydrates and fiber foods (buckwheat, barley, bulgur, whole oat, whole-grain bread and quinoa). This will ensure that you stay full longer and your blood sugar level remains constant.

When shopping, don’t forget to look at the contents. Prefer 100 percent cereal products and remove wheat flour (refined white flour) from your shopping list.

Butterbur plant

Studies on Butterbur plant, a plant from sunflower family, have shown that it is effective in preventing migraines.

In a survey, German and American researchers gave a 75-milligram dose of it to some adult migraine patients two times a day while giving another medicine to others.

Researchers found that migraines in the patients given Butterbur decreased 48 percent at the end of four months and 26 percent in those using the less effective medicine.

However, Butterbur should be used with caution as its excessive use can damage your liver.

Eggs, the kings of breakfast

Eggs are everybody’s go-to favorite breakfast food and sure enough they reduce headaches. B vitamins play a major role in headache and migraine prevention treatment. It is observed that vitamin B2 (riboflavin) at a dose of 200 or 400 milligrams per day is effective in reducing headache frequency, intensity and period.

Two large eggs contain 24 percent of the daily riboflavin value that we need. The National Institutes of Health reports that foods with high nutritional value have a great role in curing illnesses.

Don’t forget to eat fish

In a study on chronic headache patients, fewer headaches and a clear reduction in psychological distress were observed in patients with a reduction in omega-6s and an increment in omega-3s.

This affected even the general welfare of some patients in a good way. To increase your omega-3 intake, you can prefer fishes rich in omega-3, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna fish.

Don’t avoid red meat

The National Headache Foundation recommends avoiding pending, dried, fermented, pickled, salted or smoked meat products as it can trigger migraines.

However, untreated beef and cattle can be a solution for continuous headaches. Both were approved by the American Academy of Neurology and the Canadian Headache Society as migraine inhibitors.

Red meat is rich in vitamin B2 as well as CoQ10, a component naturally found in your body.

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English Articles

Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier

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Coffee Habit

Some people can’t wake up without coffee while others can’t function without a cup of it, but consuming more than what the body needs can cause health problems hence it is crucial to make your coffee habit healthier.

A cup of morning coffee is a must for most people. In fact, a cup of coffee has other tasks in addition to waking you up in the morning or sobering you up in the evenings. These effects can range from a healthy life to a reduced risk of dementia.The studies conducted by Cleveland Clinic show that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of heart disease, respiratory illness, cancer, stroke, diabetes and kidney diseases. However, consuming more coffee than your body needs, or harmful additional food can cause unexpected side effects.

For instance, added sugar can increase your risk of heart disease. Instead, you can choose honey or molasses. This can be difficult for many coffee addicts, but you need to make a few small additions or exclusions to increase the benefit of the coffee you drink every day. Make sure your coffee habit is healthy as it is a chronic habit that covers your whole life, even though it seems like a small detail to you. In this article, we discuss the side effects of excess coffee consumption and ways to make it a more healthy habit.

Cinnamon: healthy experience

Start with a classic way to change your coffee habit. Instead of a few cubes of sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon softens coffee. Make sure you use purely powdered cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar) or sweeten the coffee beans by brewing your coffee with a few cinnamon sticks. A study showed that consumption of only 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon each day can increase the insulin sensitivity of the cells. This is the opposite effect of sugar, which causes insulin resistance.

Watch out for coffee consumption if you get too nervous.

Coffee is not just a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors while increasing adrenaline, dopamine and glutamate. Nervous system activation can cause anxiety, trembling, increased heart rate, irritability, and sometimes anger bursts. Those with heart problems should pay attention to coffee consumption.

Orange juice

I will share a method that has recently emerged in the U.S. The combination of espresso and orange juice is now among the most preferred coffee types there. It can easily be prepared at home. The reason why you should prefer this mixture is orange juice is a natural sugar and has a sweetness that makes espresso delightful. Only 3/4 cup of orange juice contains 155 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. If you are not ready to mix your coffee with orange juice, place the peeled orange shells in the mouth area of your coffee mug or add a few drops of orange juice into the cup. So, you can slowly get used to this healthy drink.

If you feel tired during the day, there may be a cause.

Yes, a cup of coffee seems to charge you at that moment, but it can cause a bigger collapse later on. A study published in the Neuropsychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, shows that caffeine can reduce productivity and cause hard-workers to get loose. Many people trust caffeine reinforcement to stay awake during the day, but this may be a wrong idea. The most reliable way to keep your energy running during the day is to consume healthy foods.

Sugar-free cocoa powder

Mixing cocoa powder in your coffee is one of the easiest ways to get the benefits of chocolate flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps prevent environmental damage to the cells and increases blood flow to the brain and heart. Unlike a cup of syrup-flavored mocha, a pinch of cocoa will give a rich flavor of pure chocolate without adding sugar. Choose a product that contains sugar-free and 100 percent cocoa powder.

Watch out for your coffee consumption if your eyes twitch frequently.

You may think that your eyes twitch for no reason, but the National Institute of Health says that eye twitching is among the three effects of caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine triggers the secretion of serotonin and noradrenaline, which in turn stimulates the neurotransmitter causing the muscle and nervous system to increase and release its activity. If you are experiencing eye twitching often, you should increase your water consumption and reduce the consumption of coffee.

If vanilla is indispensable for you, you are in luck because you do not have to give up your favorite ingredient to keep your sugar under control. Do not forget that vanilla is just a flavor, not a sugar additive, so you can add a few drops of vanilla essence to your cup of coffee, instead of sugar. The vanilla extract contains zero calories and no sugar. If you are not on good terms with vanilla, you can start by tasting a drop of vanilla syrup.If you started to use the toilet more than usual, coffee could be the reason.

Coffee is a diuretic. It can cause a laxative effect in about 30 percent of people. Scientists are not exactly sure why coffee triggers the toilet journey, but it is thought that both the acidic content of the coffee and its stimulating effect on the bowel and the colon can trigger it. Dark coffee types such as espresso can be recommended for those who experience this effect excessively.


Sugar-free grated coconut that you can add to your coffee will both satisfy your sugar needs and soften your coffee. Do not forget to put coconut on the side of the beans while brewing your coffee. Choose a sweetener such as organic coconut sugar which is healthier than white or brown sugar. You will not notice a big change, but over time, with almost no effort, you will have reduced sugar content by 25 percent. Coconut sugar contains chromium and other natural minerals that help the sugar metabolism in your body.

If you are experiencing sleep disturbances, you may need to reduce your coffee consumption.

Coffee sabotages your sleep, disrupts the sleep quality and pattern, even if you have sipped it six hours before bedtime, it can affect your sleep. Coffee can also disrupt your body’s biological clock, which can give you a jet lag-like feeling during daylight hours, meaning that your body clock may be in a mismatch with the real time. Sleep is crucial to all aspects of cognitive functioning, and if the coffee you consume during the day leads to sleep loss, this would mean that there is no benefit left to expect from caffeine.

Organic coffee

Many coffee plantations use chemical substances like insect pesticides and fertilizers; for this reason, when you choose something that is not organic, you put more than just coffee into your system. Make sure you choose a trustworthy brand of coffee.

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