British scientists have found out how unsaturated fats in Mediterranean diet help in reducing blood pressure and protecting the heart.
Researchers also said that taking two thirds of a teaspoon of olive oil daily can bring down the effect of air pollution on heart.
While carrying on the study on mutant mice, a group of researchers based in the UK and the USA have found that unsaturated fats in food such as olive oil and nuts when combined with nitrite and nitrate of green leafy vegetables help in reducing blood pressure in rodents.
The researchers found out that the combination of nitro fatty acids inhibited enzyme soluble Epoxide Hydrolase which regulates blood pressure.
Professor Philip Eaton, Professor of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at King's College London, said, "The findings of our study help to explain why previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks."
The findings were published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A typical Mediterranean diet comprises 'good' unsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados with vegetables such as spinach, celery and carrots that consist of high levels of nitrates.
Previous researches have shown that the diet also protects against Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and various types of cancer, along with lowering cholesterol and improving rheumatoid arthritis.