Summertime appetizers, as recommended by IMEO
The Medical European Obesity Institute (IMEO) has named the ten healthiest summertime tapas, or Spanish appetizers, recommending combinations of fresh vegetables and shellfish over fried calamari, mayonnaise and rich sauces.
Skewered marinated anchovies, green pepper, olives, chives and blue fish, rich in calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids – ideal for the 40 and up, pre-menopausal crowd – are in first place at 50-60 calories.
The second healthiest Spanish appetizer according to IMEO is a glass of gazpacho (70-85 calories), rich in lycopene and carotene, both powerful anti-oxidants and promoters of skin health.
At number 3 and 100 calories, a protein-rich shellfish salad keeps the heart healthy, while grilled squid with garlic and parsley (number 4, 106 calories) is rich in phosphorus and potassium, both keys to healthy cell function. Squid ink is also a natural anti-depressant, and is used to treat fatigue, premenstrual syndrome, and postpartum stress. Mussels vinaigrette (number 5, 120 calories) are great for both the palate and the heart because they are high in selenium, a natural anti-oxidant that, along with Vitamin E, fights coronary disease. At number 6, the mushroom and chive omelet (130 calories), is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that fights cancer and heart disease, while egg yolk is a great source of fat-free protein. Number 7 is red pepper stuffed with salt cod (140 calories), which joins carotene and vitamin A to protect the skin and the mucous membranes.
Nutritious and low in calories, Galicia-style octopus is at number 8 (140 calories) because it is rich in iodine, which protects the metabolism and the thyroid gland, and vitamin B2, which reduces heart disease.
Tuna with green pepper on toast (number 9, 156 calories), is high in Omega 3. Experts say 170 grams of tuna a day equal one third of daily protein intake needs for adults. Last but not least, at number 10 is Spanish ham with tomato (150 calories), low in saturated fats and high in the B vitamin complex, ensuring a healthy nervous system. (ANSAmed).