A new study from researchers in the United Kingdom has found another reason to love olive oil.
The findings, which were published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this month, state that combining unsaturated fats with nitrite-rich vegetables can protect us from hypertension.
"The findings of our study help to explain why previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks," Philip Eaton, professor of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at King’s College London, said in a press release.
The Mediterranean diet is usually high in unsaturated fats (found in avocados, nuts and olive oil) and nitrite- and nitrate-rich vegetables such as spinach, celery and carrots. "When these two food groups are combined, the reaction of unsaturated fatty acids with nitrogen compounds in the vegetables results in the formation of nitro fatty acids," reads a story on the King’s College London news site
Nitro fatty acid is a compound that relaxes the blood vessles and brings down blood pressure, which is good news for your heart.
Enjoy some heart-healthy olive oil with these recipes:
-Jessica Harding, associate web editor