Secret of Mediterranean Diet Revealed?
The Mediterranean diet has been researched, reported on, studied, discussed, and investigated meticulously. Scientists have debated what, exactly, about the dietary pattern is so remarkably good for the heart. That question has been argued for years. But one thing is unanimous: the diet is among the most healthful known to mankind. Study after study has concluded that it significantly reduces the incidence of disease risk.
There are several key components to the traditional Mediterranean diet that are thought to play a role in its ability to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and reduce the incidence of serious diseases, such as diabetes and even cancer.
Extra virgin olive oil, with its mono and poly-unsaturated fats and unique antioxidant compounds, has long been suspected of being a crucial component. Other foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean protein from poultry or fish are also believed to be important. Dark green leafy vegetables, and fresh herbs, have also been suggested as key components. I'm convinced that the lack of added sugar is also significant.
Now British researchers think they've discovered the answer to the diet's ability to prevent heart disease. It involves the combination of foods naturally rich in nitrite and nitrates, such as dark green leafy vegetables, avocados, etc., and olive oil. These foods react in the body to generate a substance called nitro-fatty acid. This chemical acts indirectly to relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Of course, many researchers have claimed over the years that they've identified the "secret" component of the diet that accounts for its undeniable health properties. In reality, there are probably numerous facets of the diet that work to promote health. But I've always said that olive oil is key, and this certainly supports that assertion.
Now you know that when you choose to eat a salad drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, your humble salad will actually encourage your blood vessels to relax. And that could reduce your risk of heart disease. Call it rabbit food if you will. But notice the rabbits aren't keeling over from heart attacks!