February is American Heart Awareness month. Heart disease affects 48% of adults in some form in the US. Factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity put people at higher risk for heart disease. Diet and exercise are extremely important in fighting against heart disease and today id like to highlight the Mediterranean diet. Im interested in trying the Mediterranean diet because I like the balance that it offers. So what is the Mediterranean diet consist of ? The diet is based on the diet and lifestyle of the people in Southern Italy and Greece. Their diet consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, seafood, lean meats, poultry, complex carbohydrates and limited amounts of pasta. People in this area of the world also have lower instances of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
A series studies have found that the Mediterranean diet also helps to slow the aging process and protects the body against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. It occurs naturally and plays a roll in the aging process. It also keeps inflammation at bay both play a roll in slowing down the aging process. This diets promotes eating foods that are high in omega 3 (fatty fish such as salmon), rich in polyphenols(antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) and low in sugar. All of these support anti-inflammation which again, slows the aging process.
Incorporating these lifestyle changes into my daily routine defiantly seems worth trying. you can’t go wrong protecting your cardiovascular health and aging backwards! Wish me luck!