The SMART HEART Follows the Mediterranean Diet
Almost 60 years ago February was designated as American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it (i). Unfortunately, heart disease is still the leading cause of death among American men and women. That’s the bad news….
Here’s the good news: heart disease is mostly avoidable. It’s largely a lifestyle-related disease that YOU can prevent - even reverse - by following healthy habits, including:
- Quitting smoking
- Getting enough exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Eating smart for your heart
Eating Smart for Your Heart is More than Just Managing Cholesterol Levels
It may seem odd, but in fact most heart attacks occur in people with a normal cholesterol level (ii). One national study showed that nearly 75% of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had cholesterol levels indicating they were not at high risk (iii). What does this tell us? It does NOT mean that cholesterol is not an important part of heart health. In fact it tells us that heart health is not just about reducing cholesterol; iIt is also about reducing inflammation.
Inflammation is good, of course, when it aids in healing. The “acute” inflammation is the redness and warmth around a cut or scratch produced by our body’s immune system to promote recovery. Similar events occur within the body where they are not observable. However when inflammation is “chronic - and sort of “widespread” within the body - it may increase the risk for heart disease. Why? Because inflammation can damage the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels (iv). This in turn can increase blood pressure, a serious risk factor for heart disease.
You Can Reduce Your Body’s Inflammation!
How? By eating a Mediterranean Diet of course!Just how much impact can a Mediterranean Diet have on heart health? According to Johns Hopkins University (v), a Mediterranean Diet style of eating reduced heart disease risk by 28-30% in a large 2013 study in Spain. You don’t have to live near the Mediterranean to get the heart health benefits, however. A 2013 study of 6,229 American women and men, ages 44 to 84, who were followed for eight years, found that a Mediterranean Diet - combined with regular exercise, a healthy weight, and not smoking - protected against early heart disease, slowed the build-up of plaque in artery walls, and reduced risk for an early death by 80%. Because a Mediterranean Diet can slow plaque buildup, it also helps arteries stay flexible and reduce blood pressure. One Mediterranean Diet ingredient effective in doing this is grape polyphenols.
Flex Your Arteries with Grape Seed Extract
The polyphenols in Grape Seed Extract have been shown to have numerous heart health benefits, such as relaxing blood vessels, which leads to reduced blood pressure. In a 2021 study of 80 healthy subjects (vi), aged 40-70 yrs., 300 mg Grape Seed Extract a day for 16 weeks resulted in reduced vascular inflammation and reduced blood pressure. This study confirms the results of 26 additional clinical trials conducted in 2016 (vii) and 2015 (viii) showing that grape polyphenols significantly decreased blood pressure.
Olivino contains 150 mg of Grape Polyphenols per 2-capsule serving. This is a level clinically documented to help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Smarten up your heart with Olivino, the Fruits of the Mediterranean Diet.