Mediterranean diet shown to help lower 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 stems from the relatively low incidence of heart and cardiovascular diseases in people living in the countries and territories bordering the Mediterranean Sea . Death rates from heart ailments there are also vastly lower.
A quick glance of this so-called Mediterranean diet reveals the following patterns:
high intake of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, seeds and nuts;
high consumption of olive oil as accompaniment to meals;
low to moderate consumption of fish, chicken, eggs and dairy products;
low consumption of red meat;
low to moderate intake of red wine, usually after lunch and dinner.
Indeed, scientific research published in such 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 seemingly makes it a perfect bulwark against heart diseases?
The high profusion of fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apples, dates, grapes, pomegranates, onions, lentils, lettuce, peppers, and eggplants in the Mediterranean diet makes it a formidable medley of healthy agents that perform wonders for heart health.
Tomatoes for instance contain a healthy dose of antioxidants and nutrients that are said to help inhibit the actions of clot-promoting platelets. This action may help translate to a lower likelihood of the occurrence of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders for tomato eaters. Other tomato constituents like lycopene are said to help in the prevention of other chronic ailments. 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 thought to help increase levels of good cholesterol.
People in Italy and southern France have constantly recorded a low incidence 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 components of red wine and found that several components in the drink were responsible for lowering the stickiness of blood platelets and helping keep the flexibility of blood vessels. These included antioxidant compounds like resveratrol, tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids. Many of these red wine benefits were derived from the source fruit of the red wine which were grapes.
It is vital to take note that the Mediterranean lifestyle does not solely center on the food and wine. The lifestyle also involves 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, increase your longevity and reduce 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.
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