How many olive-oil-rich meals does it take before your heart starts to benefit? It's possible your body will start reaping rewards after a single meal.
In a study of people with high cholesterol, their blood samples showed less clotting potential just 2 hours after eating a breakfast containing phenolic-rich olive oil.
The Path to Heart Trouble
Ah, your endothelium. You may not think much about this thin layer of cells that lines your blood vessels, but that layer does critical things for your body. It controls how your blood vessels dilate and constrict, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow to every part of your body. Endothelial cells also help regulate blood clotting — important because too much clotting can lead to blocked arteries. (See which of the major heart risks you have, and find out what you can do to control them.)
Eat for Better Blood Vessels
More and more research is showing how diets affect endothelium. Eating just one high-fat meal can inhibit artery function, but eating healthful antioxidant-rich fats like olive oil is a love pat for your endothelial cells. Researchers credit the phenolics in the oil for helping endothelium do its job in making blood less "sticky" (translation: less likely to clot). Give your circulation a boost with olive oil and these other cell protectors:
- Here's another food your endothelium loves.
- Stock up on good-for-you food by using this Healthy Heart Shopping List on your next grocery trip.
- Find out about another antiager that won a Nobel Prize.