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Knowing more on a healthy Italian diet can improve your life: Olive Oil and Coffee

 Further to my piece Your Italian retreat as a new healthier way of life, much more than just a property in Italy I am very happy to say that Susan – Susan Marshall Tomassini, Nutritional Therapist BSc MBANT – and I decided that it was a good idea to produce a number of hints about healthier food habits.

Actually Susan kindly has agreed to spend some time on this project: thank you Susan!

These hints are thought to give you small useful suggestions on how a more balanced Mediterranean diet can improve your health and your life.

Of course I will be very happy to hear if you find them interesting or if you wish any particular topic to be approached. If we can we will.

We start from two main "ingredients" of the Italian/Mediterranean diet: Olive Oil and Coffee…

Olive Oil

It has long been recognized that people who live in Mediterranean countries tend to enjoy better cardiovascular health than people living in other parts of the world.

Significantly, the typical Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil and low in other forms of fat.

It is now scientifically established that the antioxidant properties of olive oil reduce blood pressure and improve circulation, while boosting levels of the "good" cholesterol, reducing triglyceride levels and lowering the formation of plaque build-up in artery walls; all factors which help to keep arteries clear and healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Following traditional Italian food preparation methods, in which olive oil is used abundantly both to cook with, as well as to ‘dress’ foods, may therefore be an excellent way to ensure optimum cardiovascular health.


Although many of us enjoy a nice coffee, it is worth remembering that coffee is an anti-nutrient.

It hampers the absorption of essential minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, as well as the B vitamins, by up to 50%.

So, for the health conscious, instead of having that coffee immediately after your meal, it makes sense to opt for the traditional Italian ‘pausa caffĂ©, of having a coffee break in between meals, to ensure we are getting the maximum nutritional benefit from our food.

More will be posted soon.

I look forward to discussing your comments.

Very best regards,

Luca  l.catalano@realinvest.co.uk