The heart magic of olive oil and salad

olive Oil 3We  have all heard of the health supports of the Mediterranean diet, but now scientists believe that they have found WHY and HOW that particular diet is so beneficial.

A study from Kings College London and reported to the UK Independent, has found that a combination of olive oil and salad is key to keeping high blood pressure risk down– via the essential unsaturated fats of olive oil, combined with nitrate-rich vegetables–which suppress an enzyme which may contribute to high blood pressure!

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA by Kings College, the University of California and the University of Pittsburgh. The gist of the research is that the protective effects of the Mediterranean diet comes from the nitro fatty acids the diet generates, which inhibit the high blood pressure enzyme linked to deficiency of appropriate nutrition. The everyday Mediterranean diet typically includes the unsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocadoes, along with vegetables like spinach, lettuce (not Iceberg) and other greens, cucumbers, carrots and celery that are rich in nitrite and nitrates.

When the compounds in the two food groups are combined, they form nitro fatty acids, which researchers found inhibit the the enzyme epoxide hydrolase, the internal enemy which raises blood pressure.

Dr. Sanjay Thakrar, research advisor at the British Heart Foundation, which co-funded the research, told the Independent that, “The results showed a way in which a particular compound could combat high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.”

One can only wonder how many amazing health-protecting ‘compounds’ are yet to be scientifically identified in the same food from nature that animals and man have been living on for thousands of years.

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