The Mediterranean diet is not just a diet per se, it’s more of a lifestyle that one adheres to in order to achieve a healthy body and mind. And if you want to keep your heart healthy and boost overall health it could be a great diet for you to follow too…
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
It involves eating foods that are commonly consumed by people living in countries near the Mediterranean Sea. Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries were found to have lower rates of coronary heart disease and deaths caused by heart disease. This can be attributed to the type of diet that people from these areas are eating on a regular basis.
Physical activity and close bonds with family and friends are also part of the reason why Mediterranean people are less likely to suffer from heart disease, compared to people living in the U.S. and northern Europe.
A highly recommended diet for heart health
There are many ways to keep your heart healthy, the main two are diet and exercise. You can read more health news at HealthTimes.gr, which gives people advice on how to keep a healthy heart, which may reduce the risk of heart diseases.
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the best diets for achieving better heart health, according to Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic. He highly recommends this diet for people who want to lower their risk of a stroke and heart attack. The heart health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have also been recognised by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the World Health Organisation.
How to practice the Mediterranean diet
1. Consume Olive Oil
Olive oil has plenty of health benefits. Olive oil is composed of unsaturated fats, which greatly helps improve your HD – good cholesterol levels. You can use olive oil to fry your foods, or drizzle over your nutritious salads.
2. Snack on Nuts
Almonds and walnuts are examples of heart-healthy nuts that you can snack on. These nuts are rich in unsaturated fats. However, make sure you always opt for the unsalted and unsweetened varieties. These nuts are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, which are beneficial to the heart.
3. Load your plate with fruit and veggies
Go for green veggies such as kale and spinach that are powerhouses of vitamin K – which benefits the arteries. Add some sweet potatoes and carrots into your diet too, because these are also filled with alpha and beta carotene that helps lower one’s risk for cardiovascular disease.
If you want more colour and variety on your plate, then include purple beets, grapes and eggplants. These purple foods are excellent sources of resveratrol that is known to protect the arterial walls, improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
4. Eat More Fish and Unprocessed Meat
Eat fish 2-3x a week. Some of the best choices include sardines, tilapia, salmon and canned light tuna. These are examples of fish that contain omega 3 fatty acids.
With meat, aim to eat organic meat when possible – consuming lean chicken and turkey. You can also have red meat, for example steak and mince – however aim to have these no more than 1-2x per week.
5. Ditch processed foods
Finally, once you’ve decide to switch to a Mediterranean diet, you have to forget about processed foods. This is because a Mediterranean diet advocates the consumption of whole foods.
One of the best things about the Mediterranean diet is that you have plenty of choices. So, meal times can always be exciting, tasty, and part of a heart health boosting regimen.