Eat poly meals for healthy heart

Eating meals that include all ingredients known to improve cardiovascular health could add years to your life.

Researchers from Rotterdam, found that adding almonds, garlic, vegetables and other heart-healthy ingredients to daily diets, might increase the life expectancy of men aged 50 or above by more than 6 years, Health News reported.

This would also help them spend more time free of cardiovascular disease. If women follow the same recipe after the age of 50 they could add almost 5 extra years to their life. Polymeal, as the recommended diet is referred as, is an alternative to the Polypill concept proposed in 2003. Polypill was a combination pill, which promised benefits for cardiovascular risk management, but its potential costs and adverse effects were its main pitfalls.

The Polymeal includes ingredients like wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic and almonds, which decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. All ingredients must be consumed daily in the recommended amounts, except for fish, which should be eaten four times per week.

Researchers examined medical reports investigating the influence of different foods on the health of the heart and blood vessels. Previous research has shown that drinking 150 millilitres of wine every day can reduce cardiovascular disease by 32 per cent, while eating fish four times per week cuts the disease’s risk by 14 per cent.

Eating 100 grams of dark chocolate every day appears to reduce systolic blood pressure by 5 units, and diastolic blood pressure by 2 units, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by 20 per cent.

Consuming 400 grams of fruits and vegetables reduces blood pressure as dark chocolate, while both garlic and almonds lower cholesterol, an important factor in protecting people from cardiovascular problems.

Based on calculations using mathematical models, investigators estimated that combining these ingredients into Polymeals might lower the risk of cardiovascular problems by 76 per cent. This may help people spend many extra years of life with healthy hearts and blood vessels.

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