Author Archives: IL Bistro

Live Longer with Olive Oil in Seattle

Olive Oil: What Makes It Healthy

olive-oilFrom olives, the fruit of the olive tree, come the naturally extracted oil, which is olive oil. 24% is saturated fat and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. 73% is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is ultra healthy.

Oleic acid is by far the most widely distributed and abundant fatty acid in nature. Extra-virgin olive oil, the tastiest cooking oil, is the chief source of oleic acid.

Extra-virgin olive oil has beneficial fatty acids, contains modest amounts of Vitamins E and K, but more importantly, powerful and active antioxidants. Antioxidants fight inflammation and prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the blood, both of which are contributory to heart disease process.

We know that chronic inflammation is the road that leads to multiple adult disease states like, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and even obesity.

The antioxidants in olive oil can reduce free radicals, believed to be one of the leading drivers of cancer.

How about the relationship between olive oil and the risk of stroke?

This has been extensively studied and has already been proved that those who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of developing stroke, the second biggest killer in developed countries. In fact, people of the Mediterranean who consume foods prepared in olive oil have a lower risk for heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower ‘bad cholesterol’, and lower premature deaths. Include also, lower risks for cancers.

Look at the other amazing wonders of olive oil – a couple of studies showed beneficial effects on brain function, though more studies on Alzheimer’s disease are needed. There are studies on its beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, hence, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here’s another – olive oil and fish oil in one study significantly reduced joint pain, handgrip strength and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

And finally, the bacterial H. Pylori, the one that causes stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, can be eliminated by olive oil in a percentage of people in a matter of weeks.

Living Healthy with Olive Oil

Just remember that a diet rich in olive oil tend to make you live healthy and live longer. Olive oil is a natural staple in Tuscan dishes. Have one with us at IL Bistro, your Seattle Italian restaurant.

A Lesson in Lentils by Seattle Italian Restaurant

The Many Benefits of the Tuscan Lentil Diet

Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans. There are about one or two round, oval or heart-shaped disk seeds per pod in brown and green varieties. They are easy to cook and available year round in all markets in Italy. Tuscans love their lentils especially, adding them to soups and stews as they readily absorb the flavors of other foods and seasonings. Lentils also pack a punch of nutritional values that many of us don’t know. Let’s see.

Lentils provide good to excellent amounts of seven important minerals, B-vitamins, and protein, and virtually no fat. A whole cup of cooked lentils is just 230 calories. You can eat lots and not gain weight. They also are a rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and prevents the rapid rise of sugar levels after a meal. As a dietary fiber source, lentils have both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble form captures cholesterol-containing bile and carries it out of the body, while the insoluble type helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation.

The heart, too, benefits from these little beans. Lentils have significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate helps lower homocysteine, an amino acid and a risk factor for heart disease if their levels increase, while magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, normalizing fluctuating blood pressure in the arteries. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, lentils’ soluble fiber are good for diabetics also. They help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.

Truly, you can get a lot of nutritional goodness with the Tuscan lentil diet. The Tuscan way is via lentil soup or stew, delicious and filling, such as the ribolita. The beans also combine well with vegetables like kale, cabbage or tomatoes. Sausages pairs well also.

Lentil dishes at IL Bistro Seattle

Conscious about your weight and diet? Have healthy lentils at IL Bistro, your Seattle Italian restaurant in Pie Place Market. Savor other Italian classics and dine and wine Tuscan-style in our soft, romantic setting.