Extensive research applauds the role of the Mediterranean diet in improving our health extensively. This plant-based diet plan showcases improved health effects not only for the heart but also the brain. Studies suggest that the meal plan can also lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, it has been tagged among the best diet plans. Over the years, research has also concluded that this meal plan from the traditional eating patterns of Spain, Italy, and Greece, is valuable for lowering the risk of cardiovascular health concerns such as stroke and coronary heart disease.
Plus, the meal plan has been credited for improving the lifespan of older adults. This time around, researchers from the Harvard Medical School, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, put the Mediterranean meal plan into question again.
Here is a look at the details of the study and its findings:
The Study’s Objectives
The new study published in JAMA Network Open dug into the association between the Mediterranean diet plan and the declined risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also explored the underlying mechanisms.
Dr. Samia Mora, the corresponding study author talked about the established link between this meal plan and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, she mentioned that there is a gap concerning the extent to which improvements are noted. This is what the researchers decided to explore.
Study Data and Participants
Scientists took the data from the Women’s Health Study. They were able to access the dietary habits and health records of 25,994 women. The participants were divided into three groups including low, middle, and upper intake. These classes were made to categorize participants along the lines of their adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
All of these individuals were healthy at the start of the research. The researchers, then, kept track of their health for a maximum of twelve years. During this time, they measured 40 biomarkers. These included inflammation, lipoproteins, lipids, and metabolism.
Findings of the Study
The researchers made some interesting conclusions. They found out that of all the women in the low intake group, 4.2% suffered from a cardiovascular event. In the middle intake group, about 3.8% of all the women experienced a cardiovascular incident.
Lastly, in the upper intake group, about 3.8% of the women suffered from a cardiovascular health. This clearly shows that the better a person’s adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the fewer their odds of having cardiovascular issues.
The authors ended up concluding that the higher Mediterranean diet intake corresponded with one-quarter lowered risk of cardiovascular events.
In short, the Mediterranean diet can significantly lower your risk of developing cardiovascular issues. The plant-based meal plan has a healthy menu that is rich in olive oil and limits the intake of sugary foods and meat. This makes it a healthy meal plan for not only your heart but also your brain health.