PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease), is an affliction caused by poor circulation of blood. In this case, specifically, plaque builds up along the arterial walls and prevents blood and oxygen from flowing freely. Fortunately, there are ways of keeping this issue from progressing in severity — one of which is a change in diet.
What foods should you eat if you have PAD? Well, there are a variety of foods that can help improve circulation. However, recent studies point towards a very specific type of diet that is known to have it all.
In an assessment of an exploratory and randomized trial, Miguel Ruiz et al. discovered a correlation between those who upheld a Mediterranean Diets and those with PAD.
In this study, participants were given detailed dietary education programs which they were instructed to follow. Those that received ‘Mediterranean diet’ interventions benefitted from a reduced risk of PAD when compared to the control group.
These trials were not entirely conclusive, however, they brought forward a school of thought involving the role of nutrition when it came to the prevention of Peripheral Arterial Disease. Based on their findings, it can be said that those who uphold a Mediterranean Diet are less likely to experience myocardial infarction, stroke, and PAD.
What Does This Mean for Those with PAD?
Although results are inconclusive, there is reason to believe that eating foods that play a large part in the regular Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of PAD — or, at the very least, limit the progression of the disease.
The correlation between the disease and the diet is being studied further. However, according to Everyday Health, the main benefits of this diet is its richness in healthy fats!
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
If you compare the foods often recommended when it comes to improving blood circulation and the contents of a Mediterranean Diet, you’ll notice that the two are very similar!
For example, nuts and certain types of oil (like Olive Oil) are key players when it comes to foods for blood circulation. They also appear quite often in the average Mediterranean diet. Nuts, specifically walnuts, and almonds, are also known for their ability to improve the production of nitric oxide — which is key for promoting the dilation of blood vessels and overall blood circulation improvement.
Other foods that improve circulation and can be found in a regular Mediterranean diet include foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Conclusion — What Foods to Eat for PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease)?
The takeaway from this is not necessarily that you should follow a Mediterranean Diet, but that there is more than enough reason to believe that incorporating certain aspects of it to your own diet can greatly improve your chances of reducing the risk of PAD. It’s a small step towards recovery but it is a step nonetheless.
- Ruiz-Canela, Miguel. “Mediterranean Diets and Peripheral Artery Disease.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 22 Jan. 2014, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1817779.
- Brown, Jennifer J. “The Mediterranean Diet Wins Against Peripheral Arterial Disease.” EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 21 Jan. 2014, www.everydayhealth.com/news/mediterranean-diet-wins-against-peripheral-arterial-disease/.