Sticking to a Mediterranean-type diet benefits the gut.
Italian scientists found when 153 adult volunteers adhered to a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains they had higher levels of certain gut microbes and microbial metabolites. These gut constituents are recognized to protect against inflammatory diseases and colon cancer. This diet was high in fiber, but simply taking a fiber supplement will not have the same beneficial effects. Choosing real, whole foods provides the benefits.
PositiveTip: Consume a diet with an abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Eating almonds daily reduces the risks of heart disease.
Some researchers are calling almonds a "super-food" with specific heart benefits. They gave 50 grams (2 handfuls) of almonds to an assorted group of healthy middle aged men, healthy young men and young men with heart disease risks. A similar control group ate as they normally would. After 1 month, the experimental group had lower blood pressure, improved blood flow and increased antioxidant levels.
PositiveTip: Add a serving of almonds or almond butter to your daily diet: your heart will thank you.
A whole diet approach is most effective in reducing cardiovascular disease
While low fat diets can reduce cholesterol, they're less effective in reducing heart attack risk. New meta analysis of diet and heart disease research from the past 50 years reveals it takes a diet overhaul. Changing the whole diet to something like the Mediterranean diet (lots of fruit and veggies, legumes, and whole grains) has much greater success in reducing heart disease.
PositiveTip: If you're serious about a healthy heart, get serious about your whole diet.
Using more plant foods gave firefighters a big benefit.
Researchers studied almost 800 U.S. firefighters for 5 years, gathering information on how closely they followed a Mediterranean-style diet along with specific health risk factors. Those who followed this diet most closely had a 35% lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 43% lower risk of gaining weight, compared to the least conforming. Consuming more fruits and vegetables and not eating fried foods and sugary drinks yielded positive dividends.
PositiveTip: Make wholesome choices in your diet today to improve and support good health.
Metiterranean diet pattern lowers risk of stroke, depression, and dementia.
The Mediterranean dietary pattern is one high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds; low in red and processed meat; and moderate in olive oil, eggs, poultry and fish. A meta-analysis of 22 studies examining this dietary pattern found high adherence was associated with a reduction in risk of stroke (29% lower), depression (32% lower) and cognitive impairment (40% lower).
PositiveTip: Increase the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet to enjoy better health for longer.
Olive oil or nuts added to a Mediterranean diet may support cognition.
A randomized, blinded trial in Spain has found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or mixed nuts may improve cognition compared with a low-fat diet. This study followed 522 adults at risk for vascular events for 6.5 years. Olive oil and nuts contain antioxidant properties that may protect against neurodegeneration caused by oxidative stress.
PositiveTip: A Mediterranean dietary pattern has many proven health advantages. Adding moderate amounts of olive oil or nuts might improve it further.
Antioxidants in walnuts improve the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet
Walnuts used to replace a third of the olive oil and avocado fat in a Mediterranean diet for four weeks was shown to improve blood cholesterol, LDL levels and vascular function in men and women with high cholesterol. Blood levels of one form of vitamin E doubled. This study provides evidence that the antioxidants and the n-3 fatty acids in walnuts can improve the effect of the Mediterranean diet.
PositiveTip: Try adding a few walnuts to your salads or replacing a poor snack of junk food with a handful of walnuts to improve your heart health.
Mediterranean-type diet improves odds of pregnancy.
Women being treated for infertility are 1.4 times more likely to become pregnant if they consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and some fish. Dutch researchers also found these women had a low intake of snacks, meats, and mayonnaise.
More research is needed to determine whether it was fish or plant-based foods that gave the benefit.
PositiveTip: Women desiring to become pregnant may benefit from a healthy diet.
What you eat may reduce your risk of depression.
The Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) continues to show many health advantages. Adherence to the MDP in more than 10,000 young adults in Spain has demonstrated its benefit in protecting from depression. After 4.4 years of follow-up, those in the top three quintiles of dietary adherence to the MDP had the lowest risk for depression. The investigators also noted that higher consumption of fruits and nuts, legumes and fish were separately associated with lower depression risk.
A pharmaceutical order need not be the first resort for newly diagnosed diabetics.
Investigators in Naples, Italy compared a Mediterranean-sytle diet with a low-fat American Heart Association (AHA) diet in a four year study of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Participants were overweight (BMI=>25), had glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels above 11%, and were not on diabetic medications. Both diets contained the same number of calories and were rich in whole grains.