Special Issue "Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2019).

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Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy
Interests: environmental pollution; agrochemicals; mycotoxins; biomonitoring
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food cannot be only considered a combination of constituents with different nutritional values, but its relevance for humans can be fully understood by also taking into account other aspects such as history, culture, ecology, and environment. Overall, assuming access to food is secured for all people, traditional dietary patterns are considered safe in terms of longevity, healthy ageing, and morbidity. Indeed, healthy diets have been associated with a reduced risk and incidence of chronic degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders. In general, healthy dietary habits include low consumption of refined sugars, red meat, and saturated fats, as well as high intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and healthy lipids (from seafood). As an example, a Mediterranean diet can be considered the archetype of a health-promoting lifestyle by virtue of the phytochemical diversity of its food components.

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • traditional food knowledge
  • ethnonutrition
  • ethnobotany
  • ethnopharmacology
  • functional foods
  • nutraceuticals
  • bioactive phytochemicals
  • Mediterranean diet

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Healthy Diets and Modifiable Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases—The European Perspective
Foods 2020, 9(7), 940; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9070940 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Non-communicable diseases pose a serious threat to Western countries, in particular to European populations. In this context, healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and the New Nordic diet developed in 2004, in addition to other healthy lifestyle choices (i.e., regular and low [...] Read more.
Non-communicable diseases pose a serious threat to Western countries, in particular to European populations. In this context, healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and the New Nordic diet developed in 2004, in addition to other healthy lifestyle choices (i.e., regular and low to moderate intensity levels of physical activity) can contribute to reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (majorly preventable, diet-related, non-communicable diseases), including being overweight, obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia and hypercholesterolemia. The Mediterranean diet and the Nordic diet share common traits: they are rich in nutrient-dense foods (mostly plant-derived foods) and low in energy-dense foods (mainly of animal origin). However, more studies are needed to ascertain the long-term effects of adherence to both dietary styles with regards to disease prevalence and incidence, especially for the New Nordic Diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Research

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Article
Discovery of Unexpected Sphingolipids in Almonds and Pistachios with an Innovative Use of Triple Quadrupole Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Foods 2020, 9(2), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9020110 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
The densely packed storage of valuable nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, micronutrients) in the endosperm of nuts and seeds makes the study of their complex composition a topic of great importance. Ceramides in the total lipid extract of some ground almonds and pistachios were [...] Read more.
The densely packed storage of valuable nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, micronutrients) in the endosperm of nuts and seeds makes the study of their complex composition a topic of great importance. Ceramides in the total lipid extract of some ground almonds and pistachios were searched with a systematic innovative discovery precursor ion scan in a triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry, where iso-energetic collision activated dissociation was performed. Five descriptors were used to search components with different C18 long chain bases containing different structural motifs (d18:0, d18:1, d18:2, t18:0, t18:1). The presence of hexoside unit was screened with a specific neutral loss experiment under iso-energetic collision activated dissociation conditions. The discovery scans highlighted the presence of two specific hexosyl-ceramides with a modified sphingosine component (d18:2) and C16:0 or C16:0 hydroxy-fatty acids. The hexosyl-ceramide with the non-hydroxylated fatty acid seemed specific of pistachios and was undetected in almonds. The fast and comprehensive mass spectrometric method used here can be useful to screen lipid extracts of several more seeds of nutraceutical interest, searching for unusual and/or specific sphingosides with chemically decorated long chain bases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Article
Wild Italian Prunus spinosa L. Fruit Exerts In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity and Protects Against In Vitro and In Vivo Oxidative Stress
Foods 2020, 9(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9010005 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Polyphenol-rich foods could have a pivotal function in the prevention of oxidative stress-based pathologies and antibacterial action. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity, as well as the in vitro and In Vivo antioxidant capacities of wild [...] Read more.
Polyphenol-rich foods could have a pivotal function in the prevention of oxidative stress-based pathologies and antibacterial action. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity, as well as the in vitro and In Vivo antioxidant capacities of wild Prunus spinosa L. fruit (PSF) from the southeast regions of Italy. The total phenolic content (TPC) was quantified, and the single polyphenols were analyzed by HPLC-DAD, showing high rutin and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid levels, followed by gallic and trans-sinapic acids. PSF extract demonstrated antimicrobial activity against some potentially pathogenic Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Besides, we investigated the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) and the hemolysis inhibition of PSF extract on human erythrocytes, evidencing both a good antioxidant power and a marked hemolysis inhibition. Furthermore, an In Vivo experiment with oxidative stress-induced rats treated with a high-fat diet (HFD) and a low dose of streptozotocin (STZ) demonstrated that PSF has a dose-dependent antioxidant capacity both in liver and in brain. In conclusion, the wild Italian Prunus spinosa L. fruit could be considered a potentially useful material for both nutraceutical and food industries because of its antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Article
Nutrient Composition of Popularly Consumed African and Caribbean Foods in The UK
Foods 2019, 8(10), 500; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8100500 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1217
Abstract
(1) Background: Traditional foods are important in the diets of Black Africans and Caribbeans and, more widely, influence UK food culture. However, little is known about the nutritional status of these ethnic groups and the nutrient composition of their traditional foods. The aim [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Traditional foods are important in the diets of Black Africans and Caribbeans and, more widely, influence UK food culture. However, little is known about the nutritional status of these ethnic groups and the nutrient composition of their traditional foods. The aim was to identify and analyse African and Caribbean dishes, snacks and beverages popularly consumed in the UK for energy, macronutrients and micronutrients. (2) Methods: Various approaches including focus group discussions and 24-h dietary recalls were used to identify traditional dishes, snacks, and beverages. Defined criteria were used to prioritise and prepare 33 composite samples for nutrient analysis in a UK accredited laboratory. Quality assurance procedures and data verification were undertaken to ensure inclusion in the UK nutrient database. (3) Results: Energy content ranged from 60 kcal in Malta drink to 619 kcal in the shito sauce. Sucrose levels did not exceed the UK recommendation for adults and children. Most of the dishes contained negligible levels of trans fatty acid. The most abundant minerals were Na, K, Ca, Cu, Mn and Se whereas Mg, P, Fe and Zn were present in small amounts. (4) Conclusion: There was wide variation in the energy, macro- and micronutrients composition of the foods analysed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
Article
The Protective Effect of Brazilian Propolis against Glycation Stress in Mouse Skeletal Muscle
Foods 2019, 8(10), 439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8100439 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
We investigated the protective effect of Brazilian propolis, a natural resinous substance produced by honeybees, against glycation stress in mouse skeletal muscles. Mice were divided into four groups: (1) Normal diet + drinking water, (2) Brazilian propolis (0.1%)-containing diet + drinking water, (3) [...] Read more.
We investigated the protective effect of Brazilian propolis, a natural resinous substance produced by honeybees, against glycation stress in mouse skeletal muscles. Mice were divided into four groups: (1) Normal diet + drinking water, (2) Brazilian propolis (0.1%)-containing diet + drinking water, (3) normal diet + methylglyoxal (MGO) (0.1%)-containing drinking water, and (4) Brazilian propolis (0.1%)-containing diet + MGO (0.1%)-containing drinking water. MGO treatment for 20 weeks reduced the weight of the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle and tended to be in the soleus muscle. Ingestion of Brazilian propolis showed no effect on this change in EDL muscles but tended to increase the weight of the soleus muscles regardless of MGO treatment. In EDL muscles, Brazilian propolis ingestion suppressed the accumulation of MGO-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in MGO-treated mice. The activity of glyoxalase 1 was not affected by MGO, but was enhanced by Brazilian propolis in EDL muscles. MGO treatment increased mRNA expression of inflammation-related molecules, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Brazilian propolis ingestion suppressed these increases. MGO and/or propolis exerted no effect on the accumulation of AGEs, glyoxalase 1 activity, and inflammatory responses in soleus muscles. These results suggest that Brazilian propolis exerts a protective effect against glycation stress by inhibiting the accumulation of AGEs, promoting MGO detoxification, and reducing proinflammatory responses in the skeletal muscle. However, these anti-glycation effects does not lead to prevent glycation-induced muscle mass reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Article
Postprandial Glycemic and Insulinemic Effects of the Addition of Aqueous Extracts of Dried Corn Silk, Cumin Seed Powder or Tamarind Pulp, in Two Forms, Consumed with High Glycemic Index Rice
Foods 2019, 8(10), 437; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8100437 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Several plant-based traditional ingredients in Asia are anecdotally used for preventing and/or treating type 2 diabetes. We investigated three such widely consumed ingredients, namely corn silk (CS), cumin (CU), and tamarind (TA). The aim of the study was to determine the effects of [...] Read more.
Several plant-based traditional ingredients in Asia are anecdotally used for preventing and/or treating type 2 diabetes. We investigated three such widely consumed ingredients, namely corn silk (CS), cumin (CU), and tamarind (TA). The aim of the study was to determine the effects of aqueous extracts of these ingredients consumed either as a drink (D) with high-glycemic-index rice or added to the same amount of rice during cooking (R) on postprandial glycemia (PPG), insulinemia (PPI), and blood pressure (BP), over a 3 h measurement period. Eighteen healthy Chinese men (aged 37.5 ± 12.5 years, BMI 21.8 ± 1.67 kg/m2) took part in a randomized crossover trial, each completing up to nine sessions. Compared to the control meal (plain rice + plain water), the addition of test extracts in either form did not modulate PPG, PPI, or BP. However, the extracts when added within rice while cooking gave rise to significantly lower PPI than when consumed as a drink (p < 0.01). Therefore, the form of consumption of phytochemical-rich ingredients can differentially modulate glucose homeostasis. This study also highlights the need for undertaking randomized controlled clinical trials with traditional foods/components before claims are made on their specific health effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Article
Polyphenolic Characterization, Antioxidant, and Cytotoxic Activities of Mangifera indica Cultivars from Costa Rica
Foods 2019, 8(9), 384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8090384 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1559
Abstract
The phenolic profile of skin and flesh from Manifera indica main commercial cultivars (Keitt and Tommy Atkins) in Costa Rica was studied using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS) on enriched phenolic extracts. A total of 71 different [...] Read more.
The phenolic profile of skin and flesh from Manifera indica main commercial cultivars (Keitt and Tommy Atkins) in Costa Rica was studied using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS) on enriched phenolic extracts. A total of 71 different compounds were identified, including 32 gallates and gallotannins (of different polymerization degree, from galloyl hexose monomer up to decagalloyl hexoses and undecagalloyl hexoses); seven hydroxybenzophenone (maclurin and iriflophenone) derivatives, six xanthonoids (including isomangiferin and mangiferin derivatives); 11 phenolic acids (hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives); and eight flavonoids (rhamnetin and quercetin derivatives). The findings for T. Atkins skin constitute the first report of such a high number and diversity of compounds. Also, it is the first time that the presence of gallotannin decamers and undecamers are reported in the skin and flesh of Keitt cultivar and in T. Atkins skins. In addition, total phenolic content (TPC) was measured with high values especially for fruits’ skins, with a TPC of 698.65 and 644.17 mg gallic acid equivalents/g extract, respectively, for Keitt and T. Atkins cultivars. Antioxidant potential using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhidrazyl (DPPH) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) methods were evaluated, with T. Atkins skin showing the best values for both DPPH (IC50 = 9.97 µg/mL) and ORAC (11.02 mmol TE/g extract). A significant negative correlation was found for samples between TPC and DPPH antioxidant values (r = −0.960, p < 0.05), as well as a significant positive correlation between TPC and ORAC (r = 0.910, p < 0.05) and between DPPH and ORAC antioxidant methods (r = 0.989, p < 0.05). Also, cytotoxicity was evaluated in gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS), hepatocarcinoma (HepG2), and colon adenocarcinoma (SW620), with T. Atkins skin showing the best results (IC50 = 138–175 µg/mL). Finally, for AGS and SW 620 cell lines particularly, a high significant negative correlation was found between cytotoxic activity and gallotannins (r = −0.977 and r = −0.940, respectively) while for the HepG2 cell line, the highest significant negative correlation was found with xanthonoids compounds (r = −0.921). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Article
A Comparative Study of Essential Oil Constituents and Phenolic Compounds of Arabian Lilac (Vitex Trifolia var. Purpurea): An Evidence of Season Effects
Foods 2019, 8(2), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8020052 - 02 Feb 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
To evaluate the fluctuation of secondary metabolites in Arabian lilac during a year, aerial parts of the plant were harvested in the middle of each month. The essential oils content from fresh and dried plant materials was analyzed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detector [...] Read more.
To evaluate the fluctuation of secondary metabolites in Arabian lilac during a year, aerial parts of the plant were harvested in the middle of each month. The essential oils content from fresh and dried plant materials was analyzed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS), individually. Phytochemical contents, along with antiradical scavenging potential of the related methanol extracts were separately assessed. The spring and autumn samples (fresh and dried) yielded more essential oil than the other samples. Forty-one compounds were identified totally in the oils and the major constituents characterized were β-caryophyllene, sabinene, and caryophyllene oxide. The extracts obtained from winter and summer plants possessed the highest total phenolics. The maximum amount of total flavonoid content was measured in winter (December and January), whereas the minimum one was observed in spring (March). The summer and winter samples showed the highest and lowest content of flavones and flavanols, respectively, whereas the anthocyanin content was higher in winter than in summer. Moreover, antiradical activity of the extracts in summer and winter samples was higher than in other seasons. Overall, this study can provide useful information regarding the best harvest period of Arabian lilac to yield the desired compounds for application in phytopharmaceutical and food industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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Review

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Review
Patagonian Berries: Healthy Potential and the Path to Becoming Functional Foods
Foods 2019, 8(8), 289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods8080289 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in studying food and its derived ingredients that can provide beneficial effects for human health. These studies are helping to understand the bases of the ancestral use of several natural products, including native fruits [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in studying food and its derived ingredients that can provide beneficial effects for human health. These studies are helping to understand the bases of the ancestral use of several natural products, including native fruits as functional foods. As a result, the polyphenol profile and the antioxidant capacity of the extracts obtained from different Patagonian native berries have been described. This review aims to provide valuable information regarding fruit quality, its particular compound profile, and the feasibility of producing functional foods for human consumption to prevent disorders such as metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. We also discuss attempts concerning the domestication of these species and generating knowledge that strengthens their potential as traditional fruits in the food market and as a natural heritage for future generations. Finally, additional efforts are still necessary to fully understand the potential beneficial effects of the consumption of these berries on human health, the application of suitable technology for postharvest improvement, and the generation of successfully processed foods derived from Patagonian berries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Effects of Traditional Foods)
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