Menopause Education: What Foods Really Protect Your Heart? A New Study

Category : Diet and Nutrition

Expert’s Name: Gail Edgell
Menopause and Heart Health

You have heard of an apple a day will keep the doctor away. You really have to evaluate this fairytale since apples are some of the most heavily sprayed fruits. The chemicals alone might send you to the doctor. So if you are buying apples, buy organic.

But what about heart health. It is no myth that once a woman gets to menopause her risk of heart disease increases. This is due to decreasing estrogen levels. But more research has just surfaced that you can do something about protecting your heart.

In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers studied 30,000 (mean age 50 years) Italian women over an eight year period and found that if women consumed green leafy vegetables and olive oil their risk of heart disease decreased by 40%.

So how much did the researchers find to be beneficial? If woman ate one serving of green leafy vegetables a day and consumed three tablespoons of olive oil proved to be sufficient in reducing heart disease risk.

This is not the first study that has surfaced proving the benefits of green leafy vegetables and olive oil. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has similar recommendations and has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and most recently brain function.

Heart disease is now the leading cause of death among men and women.

So what is considered to be a green leafy vegetable? Dark green lettuce such as romaine; endive; chard; kale; and spinach. In fact kale is great if you place it in the oven at a low temperature with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes. It is a great replacement for chips.

What about olive oil? Virgin olive oil is best. Just a word of caution that olive oil when heated to a high temperature is changed chemically. It is better to use coconut oil at higher temperatures.

To see more of this study go to www.ajcn.org/content/early/2010/12/22/ajcn.110.000521

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