Researchers from Edwan Cowan University have discovered that eating more green vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40%. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined the amount of nitrate absorbed from vegetables in over 1000 women in Western Australia.
It revealed that over 15 years, women who consumed the most nitrate from vegetables faced a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease. PhD student Lauren Blekkenhorst said that several common vegetables had a high nitrate concentration. Nitrates are natural chemicals found in the environment.
“We found that leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and kale had the highest amounts of nitrate, followed by radish, beetroot, and celery,” she said. “People get roughly 80 per cent of their average nitrate intake from vegetables so they are the primary source.”
1 serving (75g) of leafy green vegetables a day is sufficient enough to help lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. “This is about one cup of raw vegetables which shouldn’t be too hard for all of us to eat daily,” says Blekkenhorst.
Dr Catherine Bondonno, who led the study, explained that the bacteria in our mouth breaks down the nitrate, enabling it to perform the health benefits that help prevent heart disease. “This is the underlying mechanism that is resulting in the long-term improvements in heart health.”
Foods To Add To Your Diet:
- Leafy greens: Kale, Spinach, Chard, Lettuce, Mesclun
- Green Beans
- Herbs: Coriander, Basil, Parsley
Recipes To Try:
Bean & Pea Salad with Basil & Nigella Seeds (pictured)