The Mediterranean Diet has already been credited with several health benefits. Researchers have already found that it significantly lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, breast and colorectal cancers, and now you can add oral cancer to that list.
The study conducted in Switzerland and Italy followed 768 oral cancer patients and a 2078 person control group over a period of 12 years. Researchers determined a Mediterranean diet score for each participant and found that the higher their score was, the lower their risk for oral and pharyngeal cancer.
The Mediterranean Diet includes:
- High in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains
- Use of olive oil instead of fats like butter or other oils
- Foods seasoned with herbs and spices rather than salt
- Fish and poultry twice a week
- Red meat no more than 3 times a month
- Red wine in moderation
Following the Mediterranean Diet is a delicious way to improve not just your oral health, but the health of the rest of your body as well. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes
Courtesy of WholeLiving.com
Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced, lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and quartered lengthwise
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more serving
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in artichokes and cook until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add olives and half of the tomatoes; cook until tomatoes start to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pasta to skillet. Stir in remaining tomatoes, oil, cheese, and basil. Thin with reserved pasta water if necessary to coat the spaghetti. Serve with additional cheese.