Mediterranean diet may help decrease heart disease rates

The famous Mediterranean diet has become a model of a heart-friendly dietary regimen for many nutrition and health practitioners worldwide.

This is due to the relatively low rates of heart and cardiovascular diseases among people living in the countries and territories bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Mortality rates from heart ailments there are also greatly lower.

A quick review of this so-called Mediterranean diet reveals the following patterns:

– high consumption of fruits vegetables, bread, cereals, potatoes, beans, seeds and nuts;
– high consumption of olive oil that accompany meals;
– low to moderate consumption of fish, chicken, eggs and dairy products;
– low consumption of red meat;
– low to moderate intake of red wine, typically after lunch and dinner.

Indeed, scientific research published in publications as The Journal of the American Medical Association found that seniors who included a Mediterranean-type diet in their daily routine significantly increased their life expectancy.

But what is it exactly about this Mediterranean diet that apparently makes it a perfect safeguard against heart diseases?

The high content of fruits and vegetables like apples, dates, grapes, pomegranates, tomatoes, onions, lentils, lettuce, peppers, and eggplants in the Mediterranean diet makes it a formidable mix of healthy agents that give positive benefits for heart health.

Tomatoes for instance contain a healthy amount of antioxidants and nutrients that are believed to help inhibit the actions of clot-promoting platelets. This action may help translate to a diminished possibility of the occurrence of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders for tomato eaters. Other tomato constituents like lycopene are believed to assist in the prevention of other chronic bodily disorders. These factors contribute to the relatively frequent study of tomato benefits.

Olive oil is another prominent fixture of the Mediterranean diet that merits a close watch. This flavorful fatty liquid is often used as a dressing for salads and pasta, as well as a dip for bread and other savory food. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that don’t raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the same manner as saturated fat from other types of oil. It is also believed to help improve levels of good cholesterol.

Other olive oil health benefits are also believed to be obtained from its rich content of vitamin K, vitamin E, nutrients and antioxidant polyphenols.

Inhabitants of Italy and southern France have constantly recorded low rates of coronary heart disease and this is especially glaring when compared to their Western European or North American peers. When researchers analyzed their eating habits, it was found out that these people typically capped their meals with a glass of red wine.

The researchers then dug deep into the constituents of red wine and found that several components in the drink were responsible for decreasing the stickiness of blood platelets and helping keep the flexibility of blood vessels. These included antioxidant compounds like resveratrol, polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins.. Many of these red wine benefits were derived from the source fruit of red wine which are grapes.

It is quite important to take note that the Mediterranean lifestyle does not refer exclusively to the intake of food and wine. The lifestyle also includes regular physical activity. As most of the people live on hilly and rocky terrain, there is a tendency to walk large distances and even climb high altitudes for them to reach certain places. These activities allow them to burn fat and calories and facilitate better metabolism. This ideal combination of constant physical activity and healthy diet contribute to the lower incidence of cardiovascular disease among people of this region.

It is never too late to adopt this Mediterranean lifestyle to enhance your well-being, improve your life expectancy and decrease the risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments. Will power and a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle are the necessary steps to help achieve these aims.


Comments are closed.