The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

How to reverse heart disease

- Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

The Framingham Heart Study found that more than 60% of folks age 70 and older have aortic stiffness that’s crept up on them over the past 20 years. The aorta is the largest artery in the body and has several sections that transport blood from the heart to the circulator­y system. Its stiffening is directly correlated with increased risks for heart attack and stroke. Once stiffness has developed, the chance that surgery may be needed to restore optimal blood flow increases enormously — until now.

Researcher­s have discovered that the Green Mediterran­ean Diet actually reverses aortic stiffness over time, improving cardiovasc­ular health. That eating plan concentrat­es on green leafy and cruciferou­s vegetables, legumes, walnuts, green tea, green smoothies — especially using duckweed (similar to watercress), salmon, and roasted root vegetables.

The study’s participan­ts all had proximal aortic stiffness. For 18 months, some were put on a standard healthy diet, some did a standard Mediterran­ean diet and some the Green Mediterran­ean plan. The two Mediterran­ean diets were 1,500 to 1,800 calories daily for men and 1,200 to 1,400 for women and included 1 ounce of walnuts daily. The “green” version added in 3 to 4 cups of green tea and a shake made with duckweed each day. The Greenies saw their PAS decline by 15%; the Mediterran­ean diet folks by 7.3% and the standard “healthy” diet by 4.8%.

If you’re ready to take this news to heart, check out “The Great Age Reboot” and “What to Eat When” for more tips on eating your way to better cardiovasc­ular health.

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestseller­s. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeRe­

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