Make your heart happy by saying ‘yes’ to cheese

You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean Diet, especially if you have heart problems…

That’s because doctors around the world have been recommending it and research on more than 1.5 million adults found that following a Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of dying from heart problems.

Now, thanks to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you can take the Mediterranean Diet a step further to grab even better heart protection.

The new and improved Mediterranean diet

The research from the University of South Australia compared the health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet supplemented with two to three servings of dairy each day and a generic low-fat diet — a diet that many cardiologists recommend.

And the results are in…

Not only did the dairy-supplemented Mediterranean Diet (labeled MedDairy by the researchers) significantly improve blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function in participants, it was even more effective than a low-fat diet.

According to the researchers, a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ph.D. candidate Alexandra Wade says this new, improved Mediterranean diet challenges popular perceptions of what is considered healthy since it is higher in fat. However, she stresses that the MedDairy diet focuses on healthy rather than unhealthy fats — which makes all the difference.

“The MedDiet is fast earning a reputation as the world’s healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health,” Wade says. “This study shows that the new MedDairy works better than a generic low-fat diet, ensuring better health outcomes for people at risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Calcium rich

One of the big reasons the researchers believe the MedDairy diet offers improved protection over both the original Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet is that it provides extra calcium.

A typical Mediterranean Diet includes extra-virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, along with moderate consumption of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat and sweet and processed foods. It also includes 1-2 servings of dairy foods — providing 700-820 mg calcium which is far lower than the recommended minimum of 1,200 mg for women over 50.

And since studies have shown that calcium along with vitamin D is necessary to protect against high blood pressure, it’s no wonder that the MedDairy diet with its higher levels of the nutrient provides better protection.

As Wade says, “The new MedDairy diet allows for three to four servings with dairy, which means Australians (and Americans as well) can more sustainably meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes while also maintaining the significant health benefits offered through the MedDiet.

“When it comes down to it, people want to be able to enjoy a colorful, tasty and nutritious diet. And if you’re one of the thousands of people seeking to improve your cardiovascular and cognitive health — look no further than the MedDairy diet.”

Ensuring the extra calcium does its job

But there is one thing to remember before switching to the MedDairy diet with its extra calcium…

You have to ensure that that calcium is used the way its intended by your body rather than ending up in your arteries, where it can cause them to become narrow and your blood pressure to rise. To help with this, make sure you get enough…

Vitamin K2 — K2 acts like a shuttle service for calcium, delivering it exactly where your body needs it most and preventing it from building up in your blood vessels.

Nitrosigine® — Boosts levels of nitric oxide in your vessels which signals your arteries to open to receive blood flow and then relax again – which helps maintain healthy circulation and normal blood pressure.

NSK-SD® Nattokinase — Helps to dissolve clots so your blood can flow freely.

CoQ10 — Provides energy to your heart cells, helps to normalize your blood pressure and reduces free radicals. A study published in the medical journal Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy found that an astounding 91 percent of patients with blood flow problems experienced improvement within 30 days of starting CoQ10 supplementation!