Nutrients and phytochemicals in the Mediterranean diet drastically improves cardiovascular health, according to a new study.
The Food Research International study looked at elderly Mediterraneans and how certain microbial phenolic metabolites (MPM) in a diet involving a high intake of nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and moderate quantities of wine was linked to improved cardiovascular health.
In Spain, 7,447 participants were recruited between October 2003 and December 2010, with a key criteria being that participants must not have had any history of cardiovascular disease.
The health of the participants was then analysed against the American Heart Association’s proposed ideal cardiovascular health (ICVH) score.
The ICVH score is based on seven factors, including body mass index (BMI), healthy diet, appropriate physical activity, and non-smoking, as well as normal blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
The study showed that 200 randomly selected participants who maintained a Mediterranean diet had more microbial phenolic metabolites in their urine, and therefore a higher ICVH score.
“These findings strongly indicate that the MedDiet was linked with phenolic metabolites, which can improve cardiovascular health,” researchers said in the study.