Why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy
No question that when it comes to healthy eating, few diets get as high marks as the Mediterranean diet. Now scientists think they know why--it's the combination of olive oil and leafy green vegetables that packs such a healthy punch.
Olive oil’s unsaturated fat combines with the nitrate in leafy greens and vegetables to make nitro fatty acids. Researchers from King’s College London and University of California tested the effects nitro fatty acids had on genetically engineered mice. They found it helped lower blood pressure because it blocked the enzyme epoxide hydrolase, which is also found in humans. This would help explain why the Mediterranean diet is heart-healthy.
The benefits of nitro fatty acids could be used to make new drugs for treating heart disease and high blood pressure in the future, albeit after more extensive testing in humans.