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February American Heart Month

The goal of this month-long observance is to motivate Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to help prevent heart disease. When it comes to heart disease, there is bad news and good news. The bad news is that heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death of American men and women. The good news is that there are a lot of things that we can do to reduce our risk of heart disease.

Life's Simple 7

The American Heart Association has outlined 7 strategies, called Life’s Simple 7, that we can use to improve our heart disease risk. These are 7 measures that we can all take to reduce our heart disease risk:

  1. Manage blood pressure
  2. Control Cholesterol
  3. Reduce Blood Sugar
  4. Get Active
  5. Eat Better
  6. Lose Weight
  7. Stop Smoking

Mediterranean Diet

Many of the measures recommended by the American Heart Association involve our diet. Here at Cobram Estate and Wellgrove, we are huge advocates of the Mediterranean diet. This way of eating has been consistently shown to be protective against heart disease.[1] This diet is steeped in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and shown to have benefits for supporting healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Even better, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to help with weight maintenance. The main principles of the Mediterranean Diet are:[2]

  • Emphasize vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, using EVOO as the principal source of fat
  • Includes some red wine, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Limits sugars, highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates and fatty meats
  • Lead an active lifestyle and focus on eating meals as a family or a community to create a healthy slow food environment.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the food patterns of southern Italy and the island of Crete in Greece where the people have some of the highest life expectancies in the world. The Mediterranean people also have lower rates of chronic disease like heart disease compared to other parts of the world. It sounds like we could all benefit from taking a page from their book (or their cookbook, to be more specific).

If you’re looking for an extra boost of heart healthy antioxidants to complement your Mediterranean diet, we’ve taken the leaves from our beautiful olive trees and used a simple method to extract the beneficial compounds from the leaves. This water-only extract is available in liquid and capsule format and provides antioxidants that have been shown to support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels to. Sounds like a match made in heart health Heaven if you ask us!!

[1] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7754995/

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