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Mediterranean Diet Helps Fight Brain Attacks

Posted Feb 15 2012 11:50am

Followers of the Mediterranean diet will be happy to know that they will probably have less small blood vessel damage in their brain, says a recent study. So now, they have another reason to continue to follow its principles. The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating style of cultures that border the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy and Greece. The diet has been linked to lowering the risk of what’s known as the metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke and dementia.

The Mediterranean diet is comprised of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes, monounsaturated fats like olive oil along with moderate amounts of alcohol. It also includes lower amounts of red meat, saturated fats like butter and refined grains.

The research study, which compared the brain scans and diets of 966 adults, average aged 72, showed that those who most closely followed the Mediterranean diet had lower measures of white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) than those who did not. WMHV in the brain is an indicator of small blood vessel damage. It is detected by using a magnetic resonance screening (MRI) and is found in the average person as they age. High amounts of WMHV in the brain can predict a higher risk for stroke ( brain attack ) and dementia.

Researchers believe that the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats is what seemed to matter most in judging the benefits of following the diet. During the study, researchers adjusted other risk factors for small blood vessel damage in the brain, such as smoking, diabetes , high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, but the outcome remained consistent.

Mediterranean Diet Basics

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Pam and David Lynn and we are cooks who live by the Mediterranean Sea and look out at it from their bedroom every morning. They’ve created hundreds of their own recipes over the years and have finally decided to share some of the passion they feel for Mediterranean food and cooking.

Rich in culture and food history, the nations on the shores of the brilliant azure Mediterranean Sea—Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Israel—have all contributed something special to the colorful, vibrant tapestry that is Mediterranean cuisine. This collection features delicious and nourishing recipes that evoke the essence of the Mediterranean region while helping you work your way toward optimal health.

The Mediterranean diet is based on foods naturally abundant in the boot-shaped country (and in other regions fringing the Mediterranean Sea). With more than 4,000 miles of coastline, Italy has easy access to a surplus of fish, and the mild climate surrounding its shores allows a host of vegetables and fruits to grow year-round.


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