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Every time you eat a salad, finish a workout or complete a calming meditation, it’s satisfying, because you know you’re doing your part to secure a healthy future.
But there’s a frustrating side to healthy living too. So many factors that affect your health are out of your control. It might be enough to make you throw in the towel on your healthy lifestyle altogether… if you didn’t know better.
Take air pollution, for example…
Breathing polluted air for an extended period increases your risk of a lot of serious diseases, like heart attacks, stroke, dementia and more. And the fact is, most of us live in metropolitan areas where the air quality isn’t great. And there’s not much we can do about it.
But even though the effects of air pollution feel totally out of your control, there is something you can do to protect yourself…
Research shows there’s a diet that helps you fend off the negative effects of air pollution. Any guesses which one?
The healthiest diet around, of course…
Mediterranean diet: The anti-air pollution diet
In a recent study, researchers from New York University School of Medicine found that people who eat a Mediterranean diet are less susceptible to deadly health problems caused by polluted air.
The study included 548,699 people who were an average of 62 years old when the study started. Researchers analyzed how closely study participants followed the Mediterranean diet and how much dangerous air pollutants they were exposed to, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrous oxide (NO2) and ozone (O3).
In the end, people who ate a Mediterranean diet were able to:
- Lower their risk of death from all causes by 3 percent
- Lower their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 12 percent
- Lower their risk of death from heart attacks by 15 percent
Why does the Mediterranean diet work?
Well, researchers suspect air pollutants harm your body by causing oxidative stress and inflammation. But the Mediterranean diet is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, so it’s a natural antidote to air pollution.
Eat more Mediterranean
If you’re ready to commit to more Mediterranean diet-inspired eating, good for you….
Luckily, it’s not hard to do. Just gradually start incorporating these changes into your diet:
- Eat more fruits and veggies.
- Switch to whole grains.
- Opt for healthy fats from foods like nuts, avocado and olive oil.
- Add herbs and spices to your meals, like basil, oregano and rosemary.
- Eat fish at least once or twice per week.
- Eat less red meat. And when you do eat red meat, make sure it’s high-quality….local, organic or grass-fed.
- Have a glass of red wine with dinner. But no more than one, otherwise you’ll set yourself up for additional health risks.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of chelation therapy? Known for it’s ability to remove toxins and pollutants from the body, it’s role for heart health has been swept under the rug by mainstream medicine. Whether you want to explore chelation therapy for heart health, varicose veins or detoxing, you can learn all you need to know in the quintessential guide, Chelation: Natural Miracle For Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health. Click here for a preview!
- Mediterranean diet may blunt air pollution’s ill health effects — MedicalXpress. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan — Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 26, 2018.