EAT MEDITERRANEAN FOR A HEALTHY HEART

EAT MEDITERRANEAN FOR A HEALTHY HEART

There is plenty of evidence that the Mediterranean diet is very good for all of us. Several of the world’s longevity hotspots are in places where processed food is very low on the list, and people also live a more active lifestyle. They eat lots of fresh seasonal vegetables, fish and nuts.

Those foods have been shown to be top of the list for a healthy heart. What do they contain and how can we eat Med-style in the UK?

WHY ARE THESE FOODS GOOD FOR THE HEART?

Those heart-friendly foods contain nutrients which have been shown to have good effects on the heart and circulation. Omega-3 in fish has an anti-clotting effect, and contains triglycerides which displace ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood. Vegetables and nuts are full of anti-oxidants, which when sourced from food are linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

A recent study of 1200 people over seven years has shown that for this group, eating heart-friendly foods can be more effective than taking statins. (And no doubt tastier!)

WHAT ABOUT FATS AND OILS?

Fat is not all bad! Monounsaturated fat has been shown to reduce cholesterol. Less cholesterol means less clogging of arteries and a lower risk of heart disease.

What is an everyday good source of monounsaturated fat? Olive oil – an essential and plentiful ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. Fry with it, bake with it or drizzle it on salads. Throw on some olives too.

WHAT MEDITERRANEAN RECIPES ADAPT FOR A UK LIFESTYLE?

It is all very well spending hours cooking and eating when you are on holiday, but that doesn’t mesh with a busy working life. So recipes need to be either quick -cook (for weekdays) or batch-cook (for weekends). Here are just three ideas.

  • Greek bean bake; choose your vegetables, add beans and olive oil and bake until ready. Tastes even better reheated.
  • Tuna meatballs: add your favourite pasta for an Italian style meal in a few minutes.
  • Chicken with avocado pesto:  packed with protein and great at any time of year.

Just three tasty reasons to take Med-style eating to heart – whatever the weather!


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

Comments

Matthew C.
6 October 2016

Matthew C.

Avocado pesto? I have never heard of that before. How would it keep? I am thinking you would have to eat it straight away or it might start to go brown.

Mike D.
4 October 2016

Mike D.

I had missed the recipe for tuna meatballs before. What a great easy recipe - nice not to shy away from tins too.

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