The combination of seven foods could extend your life by five-six years.
Forget the Polypill. To learn how to reduce your risk of heart disease and live six years longer, pick up a copy of The British Medical Journal. A group of researchers in the Netherlands offer an alternative to the pill. They call it the "Polymeal."
The magic recipe?
Fish, wine, dark chocolate, fruits & vegetables, garlic and almonds.
The Dutch Polymeal
1) Eat fish four times a week;
2) Drink 4-5 oz. of wine a day;
3) Eat 100g (3-4 oz.) of dark chocolate a day;
4) Eat 400g (14 oz.) of fruits and vegetables a day;
5) Eat 2.7g (a pinch) of garlic a day;
6) Eat 68g (2-3 oz.) of almonds a day.
Polymeal author, Dr. Oscar H. Franco, a public health expert at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, hopes that his research encourages people to "focus more on eating a healthy diet as a good means to reduce their heart disease."
Franco and fellow authors Luc Bonneux, Chris de Laet, Anna Peeters, Ewout W Steyerberg and Johan P Mackenbach suggest The Polymeal is a more natural, safer, and tastier strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease than The Polypill.
The Polypill Prescription is a combination of drugs taken in one dose. It was proposed last year and shown that combining these drugs into one pill would reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 80%.
The Dutch Polymeal researchers say, "Finding happiness in a frugal, active lifestyle can spare us a future of pills and hypochondria."
With cardiovascular disease having become the leading cause of death in Western populations and rates also on the rise in fast-growing developing countries, many people around the world may be going "Dutch" in 2005.
According to calculations made by an international group of experts, if men age 50 and older added almonds, garlic and these other heart-healthy ingredients to their daily diets, they might increase their life expectancy by more than 6 years, and spend more time free of cardiovascular disease.
All ingredients must be consumed in the recommended amounts daily, or weekly in the case of fish.
If women follow the diet after the age of fifty, they could add almost five years to their lives.
Franco and his colleagues researched the influence of different foods on the health of the heart and blood vessels.
Heart Protecting Food & Wine
Previous findings discovered that drinking 150 milliliters (5 oz.) of wine every day has the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease by 32 percent.
Likewise, eating fish four times per week cuts the risk of disease by 14 percent.
Reducing Systolic Blood Pressure
If reducing the top number in your blood pressure reading is what you're after, consider treating yourself to 100 grams (3-4 oz.) of dark chocolate every day.
Research suggests you may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
Reducing Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
Eating fruits and vegetables and dark chocolate reduces your blood pressure
Eating garlic and almonds, meanwhile, will lower your cholesterol.
Combine all of the ingredients to make a "Polymeal" and you may have a 76 percent lower risk of cardiovascular problems.
"Polymeals, combined with exercise and non-smoking, are the ingredients for a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease," Franco added.
In a separate report in the journal, renowned chef Raymond Blanc created a three-course dinner using Polymeal ingredients.
Raymond Blanc's Polymeal
The First Course
Grilled fillet of Mackerel garnished with Winter Root Vegetables, Chickpeas, Toasted Almonds and Garlic
Served with only the best red wine, we presume.
To learn more about going "Dutch" in 2005, read the details of Franco, Bonneux, de Laet, Peeters, Steyerberg and Mackenbach's findings at:
Inspire & Be Inspired (R).
Here's to healthy, adventuresome, soulful, "heartier hearts and blood vessels" living!
~ Jennifer Carolyn King
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