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Health foods website examines heart-friendly attributes of Mediterranean diet

Thu, 7 Jun 2012 11:00:00 EST

Health foods information website HealthFoodBenefits.com has released an article that attempts to evaluate and explain the beneficial qualities of the so-called Mediterranean diet and how it may help benefit the heart.  The website came up with this article on the Mediterranean diet in response to a flurry of queries from its readers looking for guidance on how to eat responsibly and help preserve cardiovascular health for a long time.
 
'It seems a lot of our visitors are quite concerned about how their current diet may be affecting the long-term health of their heart.' said Edwin Bartolome, managing director of the site.  'They have consequently sought some guidance on how their diet might be revised to include items that are not harmful and even complementary to their cardiovascular health'.
 
Bartolome said that the Mediterranean diet caught their attention after looking at figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other similar institutions that showed countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea have registered low incidences of acute coronary conditions and other ailments compared to their counterparts in other countries.  He cited a 1994 study by a group led by H. Toshima evaluating seven countries on all-cause mortality that showed populations in Italy and Greece registering the lowest such incidences while also recording the highest life expectancies as compared to their counterparts in Finland, the United States, Japan, Croatia, Serbia and the Netherlands. 
 
Another study led by DB Panagiotakos in 2002 found that the adoption of the Mediterranean diet was associated with a 23% reduction in the risk of developing a first event of acute coronary syndrome from among a sample of men in several Greek regions.
 
The scientists attributed the results to the nutritional habits of the respondents and to the content of saturated fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids in their diet.
 
'The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high consumption of fruits such as tomatoes, apples, grapes, and dates; vegetables such as onions, lentils, and eggplants; cereals; seeds and olive oil; and accompanied by low to moderate intake of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.  The meals are typically washed down by low to moderate amounts of red wine', said Roy Ian Montoya, head of web development at the health foods site.
 
'It thus seems to indicate that this combination of foods, when taken for long periods of time, may indeed contribute to lower incidences of heart diseases and longer life expectancy rates.', Montoya added.
 
'The benefits of tomatoes, for example, are largely traced to their content of the antioxidant lycopene which helps in strengthening the immune system and helps combat free radicals in the body.  The olive oil benefits, on the other hand, are concentrated on the good cholesterol-boosting abilities of its monounsaturated fat content', said Bartolome.
 
He adds that the red wine and grapes seem to complete the picture with their abundant resveratrol benefits that help in scavenging free radicals and inhibiting the oxidation of the low density lipoprotein or the so-called 'bad cholesterol'.
 
But they hasten to add that the low incidences of heart and cardiovascular ailments in the region may not be entirely attributable to the Mediterranean diet alone but also to the effects of the larger scope of the Mediterranean lifestyle.  This lifestyle also happens to include regular physical activities required by the need for mobility in a generally mountainous, rocky and hilly terrain.
 
'It does look like the physical attributes of the Italian and Greek islands in the Mediterranean region, along with the crops and natural produce that abound in them, seem to have created the perfectly optimal conditions for their inhabitants to attain and achieve these enviable life expectancy and cardiovascular health rates.' Bartolome added.

Established in 2009, the health foods site was conceptualized in reaction to the increasing use of the internet for obtaining information on natural ways to maintain well-being and to prevent, avoid, and maybe, cure certain ailments.
 
The website plans to constantly add more useful content to its ever-increasing selection of health foods and food nutrients.  'Our ultimate aim is to give our site visitors highly relevant, complete and concise information on the health benefits of foods in terms and words that are easily understandable.' concluded Montoya.  


Source: WebWire



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