Vegetables and fruits, olive oil and dairy products.    Play Audio
Module 2, Unit 2, Level: Advanced

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Core ingredients
Meal combinations

Vegetables, fruits, dairy products, olive oil, EVOO, daily consumption, local product, macro-nutrients, cardiovascular health, balanced diet



Vegetables and fruits, olive oil and dairy products.
From a global point of view and considering the right composition regarding the quantity and selection of the products, this group of food, which is required for a healthy diet, is perfect for daily consumption and they are a great macronutrient. This group of food mainly contains vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates thanks to vegetables and fruits, ideal nutritional fats, like olive oil, and proteins of high biological value in cheeses and yoghurts.

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A diet based on vegetables and fruits provides high biological nutrients since they are rich in minerals (phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, etc.) vitamins A, B2, B12, C, etc. fibre and antioxidants. Consuming them prevents cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer, among other advantages. Link to module 2, unit 2, basic level.

Five daily rations are advisable, preferably raw, bought locally and seasonal, which will provide more nutrients, freshness, flavour and aroma. In addition, it will favour the local economy and it is environment friendly.

Aromatic herbs and species, as well as other seasonings from this group, like for example lemon juice, ginger, garlic, paprika, etc., help to reduce salt consumption, which is perfect to reduce arterial hypertension.

Apart from all the advantages, that consuming olive oil has for our health, preventing coronary, cancer-causing, neurological, intestinal disorders, etc.; olive oil is also used in body and hair hygiene in shampoo, gels, facial masks and creams.

Olive oil is also used to keep canned food or in brine because of protects them from aerobic microorganisms.

Dairy products have a high nutritional value where proteins are essential, though more information about them is necessary for a right consumption. Cured cheeses have more proteins but also more fat and salt. Therefore, it is advisable to eat cheeses low in fat, like fresh cheese, for example.
An advisable consumption pattern could be:

• Children: 2 or 3 rations per day.
• Adolescents, menopause, old-age: 3 rations per day.
• Pregnancy, breastfeeding time: up to 4 rations per day.
Our intestinal flora benefits from low fat cheeses and fermented milk (yoghurt) because of their content in life microorganisms.
Representative Products
Beef tomato: grown in Spain, Italy, Portugal…They are huge, have a rough surface, weight about 300 grams, fleshy and sweet. Best eaten raw. There are other kinds of tomatoes with similar characteristics, like the Rosa de Sorrento, Naples, Italy.

Violet garlic from Pedroñeras, Spain, or white garlic from Polesano, Italy, both with protected origin denomination. It has antiseptic, antibacterial and cleansing properties.

Spanish romaine or oreja de burro lettuces, with a light bitter flavour and hard leaves. Others, like the red chicory from Treviso, Italian, with hard leaves, bitter and very digestive or the Belgian endives, crunchy and fine, very aromatic and bitter, perfect to eat raw, blanched or caramelized and grilled.

Blood orange Tarroco, very tasty and sweet, is the variant that contains more vitamin C due to their fertile soils around Mount Etna, Sicilly.

Olive oil, the fruit of the olive tree, is the healthiest vegetal fat and among their variants, the olive extra olive oil is the purest due to the process of obtaining it and it has got the best nutritional and gastronomical properties.

Olives are popular and can be eaten like table olives, prepared with different seasonings depending on their origin and in different states of maturation, from green to black. Among their variants:

• Manzanilla, fleshly, no bitterness and a bit spicy.
• Gordal or Bella from Spain: huge, quite fleshly, intense flavour.
• Other variants: Nocellara from Belize, Negra de Gaeta or Italian pearl.
Among low fat cheeses we have to mention:
• Fresh cheese payoya goat: found in the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga. Despite being fresh cheese it is unique, with a touch of rosemary or aromatic herbs and an intense butter texture.
• Olavidia cheese comes from Guarroman county in Jaén. It is a traditional goat cheese, with lactic fermentation. It was awarded the best cheese in the World´s Cheese Awards 2021. It contains a thin layer of vegetal coal in the middle and has a fruity flavour.
Dairy products can affect people who are intolerant to lactose and people who are allergic to milk protein, so their consumption can be substituted by vegetal milks (soy, oat, rice, almond, etc.)
Fatty, cured and salty cheeses favour overweight and higher levels of cholesterol and hypertension so their consumption should be moderate. We should avoid processed cheeses, grated and melted cheese, cream cheese and similar, because they contain a high level of salts and chemical additives.
Dairy products in general should be kept refrigerated to avoid microorganisms.

Fruits and vegetables should be kept refrigerated in right place in the fridge and they should be washed carefully before being eaten.

Olive oil should be kept protected from light, kept covered and avoid big temperature variations to prevent oxidative rancidity. Even though it has no expiry date, it should be used within nine months.
Further references

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