Mediterranean diets are routinely cited as especially healthy by culinary and health enthusiasts. Scientific evidence to support such claims has gradually been accumulating, although often supporting on certain components of Mediterranean foods. Indeed, definitions of a “Mediterranean diet” vary widely.
Nonetheless, recent research on olive oil and its use with vegetables and leafy greens offers strong evidence of the health benefits of certain aspects of Mediterranean diets.
The BBC reports that “The combination of olive oil and leafy salad or vegetables is what gives the Mediterranean diet its healthy edge, say scientists. When these two food groups come together they form nitro fatty acids which lower blood pressure, they told PNAS journal.”
The scientists at King’s College London and the University of California who conducted the study argue that “it is the fusion of the diet’s ingredients that make nitro fatty acids,” according to the BBC.
In their study, which received funding from the British Heart Foundation, “the researchers used genetically engineered mice to see what impact nitro fatty acids had on the body. Nitro fatty acids helped lower blood pressure by blocking an enzyme called epoxide hydrolase.”
The BBC reports on Mediterranean diets.