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January 2010 – Benefits of Wine

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  • Two decades of feasible studies have shown that red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks by 60%.
  • The Mediterranean diet, which includes a moderate amount of wine, has been proved to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by up to 83%.
  • It is thought that polyphenols which are present in wine block and / or neutralize toxic plaque that would normally kill brain cells in Alzheimer patients.
  • Some studies have also shown a 56% reduction in risk of Barrett’s Esophageal Syndrome with the consumption of 7-14 glasses of wine ingested throughout the week. Barrett’s is a condition where acid reflux occurs (after ingestion of food) and the acid contents from the stomach cause a burning sensation in the esophagus. This condition has been linked to esophageal cancer.
  • Consumption of red wine has shown a 50% reduction in the risk of cataract formation.
  • Women consuming one glass of wine a day have also shown a 50% reduction in risk for ovarian cancer. This is especially true when comparisons were made with other alcoholic beverages such as beer and spirits.
  • Men consuming from one to two glasses of red wine a day also showed a lung cancer risk reduction – smoking excluded, and a 40% reduction in stroke occurrence.
  • A substance in wine called resveratrol has been shown to protect cells from carcinogenesis.
  • In certain studies, a glass of wine a day has shown to protect against fatty liver disease since the resveratrol in the wine reduces the production of fat formation in the liver.
  • Red wine has also been linked to better digestion of food and it also seems to protect against colon cancer.


February 2010 – Sugar Paste

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Machie Serghiou

Specialist in sugar graft

13, Souliou str., Shop 2&3

2018 Nicosia

Tel. 22492711





Sugar paste is the most important product used in sugar craft. It’s used for decorating cakes, sweets, cookies, brownies etc.

Personal style and imagination are used to decorate a cake. To get the best results the individual’s skill is challenged every time.

To work with sugar paste, a flat and clean surface is essential. Always knead the paste using the hands. In case it gets sticky add icing sugar, never use flour. Always work at room temperature. Warm hands make the sugar paste stickier. It can be rolled very thin, used for making delicate shapes.

Sugar paste is always kept in air tidy nylon bags, at room temperature.

Sugar paste come in quite a lot of colours like red, green, yellow, blue, white, black and many more. Different colours of sugar paste can be created by adding coloured paste. This does not change the consistency of the product. Liquid or powder colours may be used to paint or dust the sugar paste after modeling the small figures, objects or flowers. These can be stored in boxes at room temperature or refrigerated if needed.

It can be bought from wholesalers or supermarkets. If made at home, it should be used in three days.

March 2010 – Vegetarian Diet Recommendations

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Ioannis Kerimis BSc, MSc, R.D (USA)

Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist

T: 25339700, F: 25339599


Vegetarianism is the practice of following a diet deficient in meat, poultry, seafood and animal products. In some cases vegetarians may add eggs, milk and even seafood to their diets. In the last decades there is a general trend towards adopting this kind of lifestyle.

There are plenty of benefits in following a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians usually consume increased quantities of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C and E which contain anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.  Also, vegetarians consume lots of fiber which is responsible for the balance of blood sugar levels and blood lipids and at the same time it promotes the health of the gastrointestinal track.  People who adopt vegetarianism usually have good lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides) and low body weight with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.


Although vegetarianism offers many health benefits, strict vegetarians (vegans) may be deficient in nutrients such as protein, iron, B complex vitamins and calcium.


Protein found in animal products is considered biologically complete as it provides all the amino acids that contribute towards the make of protein. On the contrary, protein found in plants, with the exception of soy protein, is often deficient in certain amino acids and not absorbed by the body as it should. Legumes are a good source of protein but are lacking some amino acids that can be found in forms of carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, pasta and nuts.  In order for the body to be provided with complete protein the combination of legumes and carbohydrates it’s highly recommended. Good combinations of such foods are lentils with rice, vegetables with pasta, chick peas with potatoes etc.


Iron is absorbed easier by the body when it originates from animal products rather than plants. Food sources rich in iron that come from plants are dried fruits, breakfast cereals, nuts, dark green vegetables (i.e spinach) and seeds. To increase iron absorption by the body, vitamin C should be added to the diet. For example, meals should be accompanied by a glass of orange juice.


A vegetarian diet may also be deficient in B complex vitamins such as B12 and folic acid. Both vitamins are related to the healthy development of red blood cells.  Good sources of folic acid are dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes, bananas, etc. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products and it is less common to trace it in plants, with the exception of soy, therefore vegetarians may need to take supplements to maintain good health.


Last, vegans (= vegetarians who do not consume dairy products or seafood products like salmon and sardines) may have low levels of calcium in their body. Vegetarian sources of calcium are almonds, sesame, tofu (soybean products), dried figs and broccoli.



April 2010 – To use or not to use garlic in Tomato Sauce?

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The result of using garlic in a tomato sauce is unique. The binding of those two tastes is so harmonic that gives you the feeling that anything different is incomplete.

In many valid cookery books we meet tomato sauce recipes enriched with the aroma and taste of this valuable ingredient. In some others (just as valid) not.

To use or not to use garlic in tomato sauce would be a fairly good question.

Let’s bring in our mind the composure of the “Provençale” sauce.

“Provençale” sauce is exactly a garlic-containing tomato sauce. The creation of such a sauce probably indicates that the original tomato sauce should not contain garlic.

Additionally, let’s not forget that tomato sauce is very frequently used as base for the creation of other sauces or dishes. Therefore if the final dish does not match the taste of garlic, our result would probably not be so nice or at least away from its true identity.

Also having in mind the fact that more people every day decide to avoid consuming garlic in order not to have the unpleasant smell of garlic in their breath, we should be very careful using this very beneficial nevertheless ingredient.

On the other hand we like it. As a matter of fact we love it.

These thoughts are wondering in my mind the last few days.

My conclusion and suggestion is to avoid the use of garlic in tomato sauce in the case of using it for farther creations (e.g. pizzas – imagine a child consuming a slice of pizza and then having the unpleasant smell of garlic in his breath all day long).

Now on the other hand when using garlic in a tomato sauce (which will definitely make it better) we must make sure that it is clearly mentioned on our menu in a way that it will be definitely understood  by the customer.


– Antonis Kavalieros –

Culinary arts Instructor

BA (Hons) Culinary Arts

Middlesex University

June 2010 – Food & Sex

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We have 2 words for you – blood circulation.  Yes you heard correctly, the best way to improve your sex life is by improving the way your blood circulates throughout your body. When someone is overweight or obese there can be a decline in sexual drive due to a decrease in blood circulation especially to parts of the body that are affected by sex. Studies have shown that being overweight or obese affects sperm production and ovulation in women.

So for things to get better weight loss is in order – so that an ‘ideal’ body weight is reached. This calls for exercise and a balanced diet.

When body weight is in check we can turn to specific foods that can affect blood circulation and even aid with stamina and mood.

Foods to try:

  1. A mixed berry smoothie which contains 2 major components necessary for blood circulation. These include fiber and antioxidants. Fiber has cholesterol lowering possibilities allowing blood to flow through our arteries without hurdles to all the parts of the body that are affected by sex. Antioxidants protect us from free radical damage (free radicals decrease the body’s ability to transfer oxygen throughout the body). By neutralizing free radicals oxygen levels remain intact and thus blood circulation maintains normal levels.

In a mixer add all of the following ingredients and blend to the consistency you like:

1 cup mixed berries

1 cup low fat yogurt

2 tablespoons linseeds

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup crushed ice

Now moving on to specifics –

Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in sperm production.

Niacin (part of the Vitamin B family) is responsible for the release of histamines (chemical substances that create allergic reactions but that are also important in having orgasms).

Foods that are considered arousing –

Celery – contains androsterones which are known to attract women to men.

Peanut butter (or any nuts in general) – contain many monounsaturated fats which have been shown to increase the production of testosterone (male hormone). It also has been linked to better blood circulation abilities.

Raisins – contain plenty of phytoestrogens that have shown a great effect on blood circulation especially for women.

And if you don’t buy any of the above you can never go wrong with chocolate covered strawberries….



















May 2010 – Article on cellulite

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Get ready! Summer is just around the corner and if you have annoying cellulite issues, remember the following:

* Avoid beverages and foods that contain caffeine (soft drinks, chocolate, coffee, tea etc) or try to keep them to a minimum.

* Avoid extremely refined processed foods things that are canned, pre-packaged or just any fast foods.

* Avoid large amounts of alcohol since it dehydrates the body.

* Avoid all fried foods – this is an important one especially in the summer when we tend to eat a lot of fried fish.

* Avoid refined white flour and its by-products (bread, cake, biscuits). Try to stick to eating all whole grain products and when you make cakes and biscuits experiment by adding various whole grain flours like corn, buckwheat, or oat flour.

* Choose to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water. Fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured are great choices. Some great examples here are cherries, mangos, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, oranges, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, grapefruit, fennel, cranberries, avocado, watermelon, melons, rocket etc.

* Make sure you drink plenty and plenty of water.

* Choose to eat foods that contain essential fatty acids (omega3 and omega6 fats). Foods that contain these fats include fatty fish like salmon, sea bream and trout, sardines etc, also nuts and seeds like linseeds and sesame seeds.

July 2010 – Watermelon: A Sweet & Healthy Summer Pleasure

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Fotini Lappa MSc
Sports Dietician

Summer is here and hot is hitting red. There are many summer fruits that refresh us but definitely the first place has the watermelon! With sweet red flesh and ‘food of the angels’ by Mark Twain, watermelon either alone or accompanied by white cheese (usually halloumi or anari) can be a healthy snack or a light dinner. Also, can be used in water ice, fruit salads, with low fat yogurt, as a dessert spoon, in sorbet ice creams or even in alcoholic beverages.



Many people think that watermelon does not contain vitamins and nutrients as other fruits and that the only thing it provides is water and sugar. Fortunately, for the lovers of watermelon, this perception is wrong. It is actually true that 90% of watermelon consists of water and that sugar content rises up to 5%, but recent research has shown that watermelon is rich in vitamins A, thiamin (B1), vitamin B6, C, lycopene, potassium and fiber and contains no cholesterol. So, we can conclude that with these characteristics watermelon is particularly beneficial for our health.

The reason for the sweet taste of watermelon is that sugar is the main substance which gives it its flavor, unlike with other fruits that have more sugar content (e.g. apple). It is also worth noting that watermelon provides only 40 calories per 100g. But because it is very easy to over-consume it due to its ‘light’ flavor we have to set a limit in its consumption in order to avoid being overweight.

Health Benefits


  1. Watermelon is an excellent source of antioxidants since it contains vitamin C, beta-carotene and biotin thus protecting the body from various types of cancer.
  2. Also, it contains vitamin Α which is important for eye health and besides that it strengthens the lymphocytes which fight against infections.
  3. Vitamin C helps our body’s immune system against infections and also protects the body from metabolic products that accelerate the aging process.
  4. Vitamin B6 contributes to the synthesis of brain neurotransmitters, substances that play an important role in many neural functions, help to cope with stress and generally contribute to a better spiritual and mental health.
  5. As for potassium, -contained in high levels- helps to regulate blood pressure and has a diuretic effect.
  6. The fiber containing watermelon acts against constipation and create a sense of satiety.
  7. Finally, the watermelon is particularly rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Also, helps to prevent various types of cancer (prostate cancer, breast cancer). It is worth noting that the lycopene contained in watermelon is biologically more active and available than that contained in tomatoes (the best known representative of lycopene).

In conclusion, watermelon is an important source of nutrients and can be used as a healthy snack for energy, to prevent dehydration as well as a food shield to our health.

August 2010 – Honey: A valuable natural food

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Fotini Lappa, MSc
Sports Dietician
53 Stavrou st., Strovolos 2035
Tel: 22 492148


The story of honey begins since ancient times, where it had held a special place. The ancient Greeks used honey like a natural and healthy product, an essential element of their diet. Also, in historical times the writings of Hippocrates, Aristotle and Democritus referred to the beneficial properties of honey in health and longevity.

Honey is produced from the nectar of flowers or honeydew different plants using bees. The different types of honey can be distinguished according to the plant from which the bees drew nectar – thyme, fir, flower – , from the region of origin and how it is received by the combs.

Composition and Nutritional Value

Honey is 70-80% natural sugars, primarily glucose and fructose, but also many other elements. In different researches for the honey they were detected and certified 182 different substances. More specifically, it contains water at about 20%, organic acids, proteins and amino acids, minerals in small quantities (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, etc.), enzymes, protein complexes, vitamin B complex, natural fragrances, etc. It should be noted that what makes honey so beneficial it is not the individual nutrients but the coexistence of all these and how they act in the human body.

Honey has a high energy and nutritional value, since it is absorbed directly by the human body. Strengthens and stimulates the body in case of physical or mental fatigue and recovery, because directly enriches the body with blood glucose and is thus a natural tonic for the human body. It is a rich and immediate energy food for children, pregnant women and athletes.

As for the caloric value of honey, 1 tablespoon honey gives us about 60 kcal.

The beneficial properties

• Honey has antibacterial activity against the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. It is useful for healing, cleansing and disinfection of wounds.

• Honey contains prebiotics ingredients (mainly frouktoligosakcharites and inulin), thus contributing to the better functioning of the gastrointestinal system.

• Contains a high amount of choline and helps against constipation.

• Excessive consumption of honey by people suffering from heart disorders has resulted in better condition. The sugars of honey, especially glucose, are essential for the contractions of the heart muscle and a source of energy for the heart. Even more, honey with the help of sugars and the acetylcholine dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

• Honey helps significantly faster the metabolism of alcohol and thus helps a person to absolve faster from drunkenness.

• In case of anemia, the percentage of hemoglobin, especially in children, increases with the consumption of honey mainly due to its iron and copper content.

Please note that eventhough honey is a valuable food for all ages, its consumption should be avoided by children younger than one year old due to a microorganism it contains. Caution is needed because babies have not developed fully their gastrointestinal tract.


• Add a spoonful of honey in your milk as it maximizes the absorption of calcium. • The crystallization (ie, honey candy) is a biological phenomenon of natural raw honey, which does not cause any changes in nutritional and biological properties. Thus, a crystallized honey is not spoiled or adulterated.

• Prefer the darker honey. It is richer in antioxidant data.

v  CyChefs recommend the very good quality of fresh Cyprus honey “Macheras”

The World of Wine

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Wine as aperitif

The word aperitif means “to open”, in other words an appetizer.  Aperitif is the type of drink that signifies the day’s changeover, in other words, the end of the day and the beginning of the night.  It starts from the moment we finish work until just before staring our dinner.  You think of it as a kind of a bridge connecting the two ends of the day, a drink that helps you unwind, whilst enjoying the conversation and preparing you for dinner.

On principal we all agree that harmony is the key word when matching food and wine.  There are some simple, objective guidelines to follow as to what we should consider when serving wines as aperitifs, guidelines that will enhance the enjoyment of a glass of wine before our meal.

Ideally, especially if we are looking to stimulate the appetite for a good meal ahead, is to open a bottle of sparkling wine.  There are some Cypriot sparklers but there is more variety from Greek imports.   Popular and inexpensive sparklers that available on the island  are those from the Italian grape variety Prosecco and Cava, the Spanish sparkling wines are now gaining in popularity.  Other examples include Cremant from Alsace, Loire and Bourgogne wine regions in France.  We must not forget Champagne; this is, though, a matter of budget.  Also pink sparkling or Champagne is now widely popular where they set the mood with the pink, grenadine like colour.    The bubbles rising in the tall, flute glass and the complex aromas of a good sparkling wine are enticing you, and set you for the right mood enjoy your meal.

In the mean time, nothing is stopping us from serving instead, a glass of white wine.  It is recommended to go for something light to medium body, not high in alcohol, fruity, with intense nose, and pleasant to drink.  Nothing old then, nothing too oaky, what we are looking is for a refreshing, pleasant wine that is also served not too cold, in order to complement our canapés.  Young white wines from our indigenous Xinisteri grape are ideal and not forgetting New World’s Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay whites, Chenin Blanc or Riesling to name but a few grape varieties.

Moreover, we can equally start our evening with rosé wine, with all the charismas of white, some advantages of the red grape varieties, plus an attractive to the eye colour.   The suggestions are similar to those of the white wines; pay attention though to the alcohol level as most rosés are made from red grape varieties and high alcohol shows.  It may not be as pleasant to drink without substantial food before our meal.

There are cases where we or our guests cannot compromise with the above and wish to have as an aperitif… a glass of red wine.  No problem, prefer a young wine that it did not spend much time in oak barrel, in fact is best not to have any oak characters at this stage, to be  elegant and not too full in the mouth or even high in alcohol.  Some light and fruity reds will helps to us to enjoy the moment and will keep out taste buds alert to enjoy the forthcoming dinner.

And now for something completely daring…something that violates the rules.  As aperitif you may serve a slightly sweet wine like a medium dry or even sweet, white or rosé.  But, choose your bites or canapés carefully – not too salty or too savoury, for example, cheese croquettes.  Legére et refraissant, as the French say, it is fan to have these food and wine pairing games as early as the aperitif; it is something distinct from anything you have been served in the past.    Try some Muscat based wine whereas locally you can rely on fresh Xinisteri that is either medium dry or sweet and can be the first welcoming guest to our palate.

Αt the moment you taste something light and refreshing as an aperitif,  your spirit is free and you may enjoy the company and the conversation that follows until you just want to sit down for dinner.  You‘ll get to the meal eventually, but first, you’ll work on your appetites.  And this is the purpose of wine as an aperitif.


Georgios Kassianos
Wine Writer and Critic
President of Cyprus Sommelier Association

Ways to increase metabolism

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Energy and the caloric requirements of each individual are dependent on four different aspects. The metabolic requirements of each individual are affected by the daily physical activity, the movements made subconsciously, the thermogenic effect of food (i.e. the energy needed for digesting food) and the basal metabolism.

The definition of basal metabolism can be described as the body’s chemical reactions that are designed for its smooth functioning. These reactions are responsible for a large number of functions in the body such as the cell metabolism, the maintenance of body temperature, the smooth function of the gastrointestinal tract, the glands and many other. In order for these chemical reactions to be accomplished the human body requires energy and the measure to count energy is called calorie. The higher the intensity of these chemical reactions is the more calories are required.

Metabolism in the human body is influenced by several factors. Men in general have increased basal metabolism than women and thus they achieve easier weight loss.  Also, men usually have a higher percentage of muscle tissue than women. Increase in muscle tissue and also weight gain in general leads to the increase of the basal metabolism. Also, the age of an individual can be another factor affecting basal metabolism. During growth energy and metabolic needs are increased, while after the age of 20 metabolism begins to decrease by 1-2% per decade. Besides the sex, age, weight gain, muscle mass, etc metabolism is influenced by various hormonal disorders. Poor functions in the thyroid gland, which has the effect of reducing a hormone called thyroxin, reduces metabolism by 40% while in a state of hyperthyroidism metabolism can be increased by 80%. Other factors that increase metabolism and energy needs are pregnancy and breastfeeding, increased body temperature (i.e. fever), cold climate, caffeine intake and some catabolic diseases and injuries.

Metabolism increases mainly in two ways: by exercising and by following a correct diet. Physical exercise helps to burn more calories and causes an increase in muscle tissue which also increases metabolism and energy needs.  When talking of nutrition it is suggested to reduce fat and simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) and avoid or reduce the consumption of sweets, fried foods and processed meat. Food consumed should mainly consist of vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates (whole grains, oatmeal, etc.) and protein (fish, chicken, etc). Surveys suggest that protein increases metabolism by 40%. It is advised not to skip meals during the day as the consumption of 5-6 meals daily increases metabolism. When following a weight loss diet one must be patient and not reduce excessively calories consumed as this will have a negative impact on the metabolism in the long run.  Finally, consumption of plenty water is advised in order to increase metabolism, hydration and detoxification of the body.

The way of measuring basal metabolism is achieved by using indirect calorimetry. The method of inducing one to indirect calorimetry is by lying down comfortably and wearing a mask which is connected to a special apparatus that measures combustion accomplished in the body according to the proportion of oxygen inhaled and carbon dioxide exhaled.

Yiannis Kerimis MSc RD (USA)

Clinical Dietitian