According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 735,000 people in the country suffer from a heart attack every year. Among these people, about 525,000 experienced their first heart attack. Earlier in 2016, an international study found that heart disease patients could lower the risks of strokes and heart attacks by sticking to a Mediterranean Diet. The international study consisted of more than 15,000 participants from nearly 40 countries. The average age of the participants was 67 years old.
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on plant-based foods and healthy fats such as olive oil. This diet is low in sodium. In place of salt, natural spices flavor the dishes. Another study also found that this particular diet helps lower the risk of developing heart disease itself.
Here are some food items you can find in a Mediterranean Diet that is good for your heart:
Fresh fruits and vegetables. These two are the stars of the Mediterranean Diet. These include artichokes, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, lemons, eggplant, spinach and zucchini to name a few.
Healthy fats. Olive oil is an essential healthy fat commonly used in this diet. This oil can be used in cooking, dressing salads, dipping, and baking. If you don’t like olive oil, you can eat raw olives or an avocado.
Fresh eggs and fish. Greeks eat little red meat. Eating fish two to three times a week can be beneficial to your health, says Revere Health. Eggs are also common on this diet. You can eat it boiled in a salad or in a vegetable frittata.
Healthy dairy. Cultured milk is an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet. Yogurt, ricotta, and kefir are good examples of healthy dairy. It also helps improve your digestion.
A variety of spices. As mentioned earlier, a wide variety of spices takes the place of salt in terms of seasoning. Popular spices in the Mediterranean Diet includes parsley, cloves, anise, rosemary, sage, tarragon and cumin.
Before pursuing a Mediterranean Diet, it is best to see a cardiology specialist, so he or she can confirm if the diet is good for you. You have some allergies that you need to address. It is always better to have a doctor sign off you plan before going at it.