healthy-nutritious-well-balanced-foods
healthy nutritious well balanced foods

What To Eat For Health doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have beenshown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important.  The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace unhealthy processed or refined foods, or precooked foods, high-sugar, processed meats, or high-sodium foods, and fried and fast-foods, with real, fresh, wholesome food whenever possible.

Eating food that is close as possible to the way nature made it, can make a huge difference in the way you think, look, and feel.  And, don’t forget, and we can’t stress this enough, as much as humanly possible, buy and eat fresh foods.  According to research, foods can loose from 15 percent to over 60 percent of its nutritional value after harvest even if it’s refrigerated.  Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of foods you love.

Rather, it’s about enjoying your food, feeling great, having more energy, keeping you fit and trim, improving your health and well being, and boosting your mood.  If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone.  It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you,  you’ll find another person saying exactly the opposite.

What if we told you there is a diet, actually a lifestyle that’s been around for centuries, that can satisfy all of the above mentioned desirable benefits of enjoying your food, feeling great, having more energy, keeping you fit and trim, improving your health and well being, and enhancing your mood, would you be interested in knowing about it?

mediterranean-diet-wild-caught-seafood-veggies
Mediterranean Diet Wild-Caught Seafood Veggies

We knew you would be, it’s called the “Mediterranean Diet”.  The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.  While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in fresh organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans (legumes), raw nuts, edible seeds, ocean fish, lean meats, fermented foods, and low-fat dairy and cheeses.

To enhance the taste of the foods, the diet uses herbs and spices, eggs, moderate amount of red wine, and lots of extra virgin olive oil.  Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing longer meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine, eating moderate amounts of lean red meat or poultry, post-meal siestas or naps, and then being physically active, because this diet is more plant-based, not meat-based.

Healthy fats, or monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, along with nuts and seeds, are a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and very healthy, according to the American Heart Association. Monounsaturated fat has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (bad Cholesterol) cholesterol levels.  Fresh wild-caught fish and shellfish are also important in the Mediterranean diet.

Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout, shrimp, oysters, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, not only in high protein but also a type of omega 3 polyunsaturated fat that reduces inflammation in the body.  This also is true for lean grass-fed red meats. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Eating a variety of whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates (high fiber) are excellent for good health, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Fermented foods such cultured olives, natural yogurt, fermented red wine are excellent for gut health, aiding in replenishing “good bacteria” or the microbiome in the human digestive system, according to an national Institutes of Health (NIH) study.

healthy-mediterranean-diet-and-lifestyle
Healthy Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

The NIH has also confirmed the health benefits spices and herbs possessing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic properties.  Drinking moderate amounts of fermented red wine has been found to have a wide variety of health benefits, covered in this NIH study. There are numerous controlled studies confirming the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

One almost 5-year 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 7447 individuals at a high cardiovascular risk were randomized to a Mediterranean diet with added olive oil, a Mediterranean diet with added nuts, or a low-fat control group.  The results of the study showed the risk of combined heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 30 percent in the Medi plus olive oil group, and 28 percent in the Medi plus Nuts group.

In 2008 a study published in JAMA internal Medicine journal of 1224 individuals was analyzed after 1 year, examining whether the diet helped individuals reverse the metabolic syndrome.  The results found that prevalence of metabolic syndrome decreased by 6.7 percent in the Medi plus olive oil group and 13.7 percent in the Medi plus nuts group.  The results were statistically significant only for the Medi plus nuts group.

A 2011 Diabetics Care study 418 non-diabetic participants and were assessed after 4 years, looking at their risk of having developed type 2 diabetes.  10 or 11 percent of the individuals in the Mediterranean diet groups became diabetic, compared to 17.9 percent in the low-fat control group.

healthy-wild-caught-shrimp-veggies-and-olive-oil
Healthy Wild-Caught Shrimp Veggies and Olive Oil

 The Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 52 percent.  Quoting the study:

Using the Mediterranean diet without calorie restriction appears to be effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.

Another study published in the Annals of Internal medicine, 2006, 772 participants were analyzed with regards to cardiovascular risk factors, after a study period of 3 months, and it was found the Mediterranean diet caused improvements in various cardiovascular risk factors, including blood sugar levels, blood pressure, Total HDL and Cholesterol Ratio, and C-Reactive Protein (CRP).

A much earlier 1999 study published in Circulation, enrolled 605 middle-aged men and women who had suffered a heart attack. The men and women were placed into two groups, a Mediterranean-type diet and a “prudent” Western-type diet, and followed for 4 years.  After 4 years, the group eating the Mediterranean diet was 72 percent less likely to have a heart attack, or died from heart disease.  Here is one more study so you’ll see you can also lose weight with the Medi diet.

A 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 322 obese individuals were randomly assigned to a calorie restricted low-fat diet, a calorie restricted Mediterranean diet, or an unrestricted low-carb diet.  The results found the low-fat group lost 6.4 lbs., the low-carb group lost 10.3 lbs., and the Mediterranean diet group lost 9.7 lbs.  Diabetic participants also had improved blood glucose and insulin levels on the Mediterranean diet, compared to the low-fat diet.

incredible-healthy-nutrient-dense-variety-of-food
Incredible Healthy Nutrient-Dense Variety Of Food

The U.S. News and World Report selected the Mediterranean diet as the “best” overall diet for 2019 after reviewing 41 popular diets using very strict guidelines.  Actually the Medi diet ranked highest in several categories, as the best diet for: healthy eating, best plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes, and easiest diet to follow.  The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report exploring the implementation and effectiveness of policies based on the New Nordic and Mediterranean diets.

Their research has demonstrated the health-promoting properties of the Mediterranean and New Nordic diets, including protective effects against cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

By using the Mediterranean diet, or the nutrient-dense foods that make up the Medi diet, you can cut through all the confusion, and learn how to create and commit to a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet and lidestyle that’s good for your mind, as it is for your body.  Let’s look at the bare basics.

Real Basic High Quality Nutrition (based on the Medi Diet)

  • Fresh Lean organic Red Meats and Poultry, Eggs, and Dairy Red meats such as beef, bison should be grass-fed finished and poultry such as chicken, duck, and turkey, lamb, and pork, should free-range finished.  Eggs and dairy should be grass-fed finished (A).  Use Sparingly.

    fresh-lean-organic-beef-topside
    fresh lean organic beef topside
  • Fish and SeafoodFish should be cold-water or wild-caught fish such as trout, tuna, salmon, halibut, mackerel and others, shellfish should be shrimp, oysters, lobster, and others.  Uuse one time a day (A).
  • Fresh Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Raw Nuts and Edible Seeds.  Use all non-GMO (non-genetically modified) types and varieties especially dark green leafy veggies, bright-colored fruits and veggies, berries, and citrus fruits.  Use one to three times a day or as much as you can eat. Use nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies for snacking (A).
  • Whole Grains, High Fiber, and Complex CarbohydratesShould be certified organic and GMO-free, and gluten-free. Use a wide variety and at all meals (A).
  • Organic Monounsaturated Plant oilsUse low-fat oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.  Use liberally in all cooking (A).
  • Natural Organic Fermented Foods.  Cultured foods such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso.  Use at every meal or for snacks (A).
  • Fresh Natural Organic Herbs and Spices.  Use non-GMO herbs and spices such as cilantro, chives, oregano, basil, turmeric, cayenne, rosemary, and many others.  Use sea salt sparingly (A).
  • Antioxidant Drinks or Filtered Water.  Fruit infused water, espresso, green tea, and fruit or veggie smoothies, (A).
  • Alcohol.  Beer and fermented red wine is better for you, but any type is OK as long as it is used in moderation.
  • Supplement With Natural Nutritious Whole-Food Peruvian Maca.  Should be certified organic Peruvian Maca.  Use once or twice a day and also use it in prepared foods and drinks such as uncooked cakes, cookies, granola bars, and smoothies, (A).

If you have read any of my previous reviews on Peruvian Maca, you will already be aware of the incredible, wide-ranging healthy benefits Maca offers.  If you haven’t previously read my reviews, take the opportunity now to read these two articles: and WHAT’S HEALTHY LIVIMG?, and WHAT’S IN MACA ROOT? Here is one quick NIH study on P Maca showing it reduced psychological symptoms in women, including anxiety and depression, and lowered measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.

Getting Creative and Having Fun With Maca

pure fresh incredible maca

Traditionally in Peru, P Maca is cooked and eaten daily, and has been for thousands of years, baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called “Maca Chicha” (1), by the indigenous people of Peru. The video doesn’t show adding P Maca, but you can easily add your P Maca powder to the mixture and make it the true Maca Chicha. Unfortunately, because of Peruvian Government restrictions, the fresh whole Maca root is prohibited for export, because it is considered a “Heritage” national food plant crop.

So, what’s available for us in America is fresh processed Maca, either in a traditionally sun-dried form, which is made into a powder, fresh chips (small pieces), or in a gelatinized form. For us, preparing and cooking Maca in the traditional way is neither practical, or possible, because we are unable to get the fresh whole Maca root.  But, we still can add it to a list of “What To Eat For Health”, because it has so many health benefits even in its processed form.

But, there are many fun and imaginative ways to use the other forms of Maca we are able to get, along with other healthy natural ingredients such fresh fruits and veggies, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, and fresh natural honey or vanilla, in salads, cakes and cookies, granola bars, and in healthy drinks, as coffee, latttes, and smoothies. Yes, can you believe it, dark chocolate?  Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and plant phenols from the cocoa bean, per the NIH study.  Check out some of these fun recipes below:

Simple Fruity Maca Salad. (or use your own imagination)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Maca powder

    blueberry-maca-salad
    blueberry Maca salad
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • handful of blueberries, or other berries
  • 1/2 mango
  • vanilla ice cream or honey

Slice, mix, and enjoy.

Cashews Maca Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews

    cashew-maca-butter
    cashew Maca butter
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Maca powder

Instructions: In a high speed blender, such as Vitamix, blend until creamy. Use tamper to assist with the blending. Does not need to be refrigerated.

Maca Energy Bars-Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tbsp Maca powder
  • 2 cups of crispy cashews (soaked and dried)

    chocolate-chip-energy-bars
    chocolate chip energy bars
  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp water

Each recipe makes four bar. Add all ingredients to a food processor or a hi-speed blender such as vitamix, until finally chopped. Remove a piece and roll in the palm of your hands, if it sticks together, it’s ready to form into bars. If it’s to crumbly, it needs to blend more or add a little water until mixture sticks together. When mixture is ready, press it onto parchment paper and form into bars. Wrap each bar individually and freeze until you want one.

Maca Energy Bars-Apple Cinnamon

apple-cinnamon-maca-energy-bars
apple cinnamon Maca energy bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 Maca powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked and dried)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (soaked and dried)
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 cup dried apples
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • about 1 or tsp of water

Each recipe makes four bar. Add all ingredients to a food processor or a hi-speed blender such as vitamix, until finally chopped. Remove a piece and roll in the palm of your hands, if it sticks together, it’s ready to form into bars. If it’s to crumbly, it needs to blend more or add a little water until mixture sticks together. When mixture is ready, press it onto parchment paper and form into bars. Wrap each bar individually and freeze until you want one.

Maca Energy Bars-Lemon Lime

lemon-lime-maca-energy-bars
lemon lime Maca energy bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tbsp of Maca powder
  • 1 cup crispy cashews (soaked and dried)
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Use same directions as above.

Maca Berry Bomb (raw, vegan, gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, refined sugar, free)

Ingredients (Base)

  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup soaked dates
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients (filling 1):

berry-bomb-maca-cake
berry bomb Maca cake
  • 2 cups cashews (soaked and dried)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries and blackberries
  • 1 tbsp acai powder
  • 1/2 cup of rice malt syrup or Agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice and rind
  • 1 tbsp asyllium husk

Ingredients (filling 2 Maca Vanilla)

  • 1 cup soaked and dried cashews
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • 1/2 cup of rice malt syrup or agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk

Instructions:

  1. In a hi-speed blender, process coconut, sunflower seeds, vanilla, and salt until fine powder forms. Add coconut oil and process until oily and mixture begins to stick to the sides of the processor.
  2. Add strained dates and process further until mixture forms a ball.
  3. Place mixture into lined spring form pans. Press down to a flat base and place in freezer.
  4. In blender, blend all ingredients for filling 1, except phyllium husks and process until smooth and creamy (may have to add a little water)
  5. Add phyllium husks at very end and blend further. Pour this into cake pan and use a spatula to flatten layer. Place it in the freezer.
  6. For filling 2, in your blender, blend all ingredients except phyllium again. Blend until smooth. Add phyllium and pulse a few times. Pour this on top of first filling. Place back in freezer.
  7. Garnish as you like, maybe sprinkle blueberries on top and return to freezer for 5 hours or until firm. When set, clip off spring form sides and store in frig. Will last up to one week in frig, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Coconut Cashew Maca Granola-vegan gluten-free (preheat oven to 300 degrees F, line a medium-size baking sheet with parchment)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

    coconut-maca granola
    coconut Maca granola
  • 1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp solfened unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of Maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Spread the oats on the pan in a single layer edge to edge. Over preheated, place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until light golden in color, add the cashews and place back in oven for 5 minutes. Add the coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, Maca and salt. Mix well until fully combined. Spread in an even layer on pan and place back in oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the coconut flakes are golden brown. If you want clusters, don’t stir the granola. If you don’t want clusters, stir one or two times while baking. Allow to fully cool in pan. Granola will firm and turn crunchy once cooled. Store a container in the frig for up to a month.

Raw Chocolate Chip Maca Blondies (prep time 15 minutes) Yields 14 bars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews

    chocolate-chip-maca-blondie-bars
    chocolate chip Maca blondie bars
  • 1 1/4 cups raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup Maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 15 large dates pitted
  • 1 to 3 tsp water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In your vitamix, add nuts, and pulse a few times to break up.
  2. Add Maca, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, pulse a couple more times to mix.
  3. While the processor’s running, add dates, one at a time until the mixture makes a dough.
  4. If the dough seems too dry, add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until firm but not sticky.
  5. Add a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and pulse to slightly mix in dough.
  6. In an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper, scrape the dough in pan.
  7. Press the mixture evenly in the pan.
  8. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top and press down with finger until they stick
  9. Place in frig for 30 minutes.
  10. Cut into squares.
  11. Store in air-tight container for up to 4 weeks.

There are all kinds of Maca smoothies out there……almond, Maca cinnamon smoothie, vegan chocolate banana smoothie, sunflower cinnamon smoothie, peanut butterscotch smoothie…..or let your own imagination create one……Here are a couple of my favorites:

Both Blueberries and Maca contain anti-oxidants that safeguard your body naturally from damaging free-radicals. Maca root, in addition, is full of vitamins, minerals, a nutritious-rich whole food, phytonutrients, and bio-active plant compounds, that assist your body in so many healthy ways. Now you know what to eat for health and how to maintain it. It’s nutrient density, has been credited to its extreme natural surroundings, growing at the top of the Peruvian Andes, where only a few plants can survive.

Blueberry Maca Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

    blueberry-maca-smoothie
    blueberry Maca smoothie
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 to 2 bananas
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon or more if you desire
  • 1 to 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of ice, or more if desired

Combine all ingredients, except cinnamon and vanilla in blender to achieve a smooth consistency. Sprinkle in cinnamon and vanilla and blend again.

Green Maca Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup yogurt

    spinich-maca-smoothie
    spinich-Maca smoothie
  • 1 loose cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 scoop of hydrolyzed collagen
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 banana

Add all ingredients in the order listed. Blend until smooth, using “blending” function, or above one minute on high.

So, do you have a “sweet-tooth” now? Are you ready to actually purchase some Maca and experiment with some of these recipes, or create your own? You can purchase the true, certified organic, Peruvian Maca, in the reviews I listed above. Have fun!

Now you have a pretty good idea of What To Eat For Health, are you going to make a Mediterranean-lifestyle change?  Should you have questions, or comments, please list them below, and I’ll get back to you.

Get your FREE e book copy of THE SECRET SCIENCE OF STAYING SLIM, SANE, AND SEXY AFTER 40, and, also, your FREE 7-night trial sample of JULVA in the article WHAT IS IN MACA ROOT?

(A)  Follow links for more in depth information, more documented studies, and to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods.

(1) Kevin Gianni Video