The Mediterranean Diet Can Reduce Strokes Too!

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You might have heard that Mediterranean Diet was good for your heart but now researchers at Columbia University found that these foods can lower chances for strokes too!

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

A lot of:

Fish

Grains

Nuts

Fruits

Vegetables

Olives and Olive Oil

Very Little Of:

Red Meat

Dairy Products

Poultry

Processed Food

The Research Study:

Researchers collected diet information of 700 people over the age of 65. Six years later these volunteers were giving a MRI brain scan. Out of the 700 people in the study, the scan showed that 238 of them had at least one area of brain damage. Some of the people had small strokes and some had more extensive damage, but none of the strokes were massive or debilitating. A small stroke would interfere with quick thinking, movement and balance and puts the person at risk for bigger strokes in the future.

According to the study, people who ate a diet that resembled the Mediterranean diet were 36 % less likely to experience small strokes.

Reasons Why:

The diet protects blood vessels by reducing plaque and clotting.

The diet lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol and body’s ability to process sugar.

People who eat the Mediterranean diet have healthier weights.

Other Benefits:

The Mediterranean diet is known for being great for the heart.

According to another study, people who ate the Mediterranean diet are 40% less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.

Recipe:

Here is a recipe you might try I found on the New York Times. Please post any recipes you find as well!

This is a typical fisherman’s stew. No need to make a fish stock; water, aromatics and anchovies will suffice. Use anchovies even if you don’t like them, as they add great depth of flavor, not to mention omega-3 fats. And don’t worry: the dish won’t taste like anchovies.

4 large garlic cloves, cut in half, green shoots removed

4 anchovy fillets, soaked in water for 4 minutes, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid

1 quart water

1 pound small new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered or sliced

A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a strip of orange zest, a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley, and a dried red chile if desired, tied together with a string

Freshly ground pepper

1 to 1 1/2 pounds firm white-fleshed fish such as halibut, tilapia, Pacific cod or black cod, cut in 2-inch pieces

1. Place the garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle, and mash to a paste. Add the anchovy fillets and mash with the garlic. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion, celery and carrot with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the pureed garlic and anchovy. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is very fragrant, about one minute, and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit and the mixture smells aromatic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, salt (to taste) and the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover partially and simmer 30 minutes. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper to taste. Remove the bouquet garni.

3. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and stir into the soup. The soup should not be boiling. Simmer five to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or just until it flakes easily when poked. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, taste once more, adjust seasonings and serve.

Yield: Serves four

Advance preparation: You can make this through step 2 up to three days ahead. Keep in the refrigerator, bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.

Related Links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/health/nutrition/14recipehealth.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/02/heart_and_head_agree_on_health.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet/cl00011

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet-pyramid/my00663

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