Canberra (Australia): A new study from Edith Cowan University (ECU) found that by eating just one cup of vegetables high in nitrates each day, people can significantly reduce their risk of heart disease.
The study investigated whether people who regularly ate larger amounts of vegetables rich in nitrates, such as leafy greens and beets, had lower blood pressure, and it also looked at whether these same people were less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease several years later.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.
The researchers looked at data from more than 50,000 people residing in Denmark participating in the Danish Study on Diet, Cancer and Health over a 23-year period. They found that people who ate the vegetables highest in nitrates had about 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and 12-26% lower risk of heart disease.
Lead researcher Dr Catherine Bondonno of the Institute for Nutrition Research at ECU said identifying diets to prevent heart disease is a priority.
“Our results showed that by eating just one cup of raw vegetables (or half a cup of cooked vegetables) high in nitrates each day, people can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Bondonno.
âThe greatest reduction in risk was for peripheral artery disease (26%), a type of heart disease characterized by narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs. failure. âThe study found that the optimal amount of nitrate-rich vegetables was one cup per day and that eating more than that did not seem to provide any additional benefit.
âPeople don’t need to take supplements to increase their nitrate levels because the study showed that one cup of leafy green vegetables per day is enough to reap the rewards of heart disease,â said Dr. Bondonno.
“We did not see any additional benefits in people who ate higher levels of vegetables rich in nitrates.” Dr Bondonno said tips like including a cup of spinach in a banana or berry smoothie could be an easy way to supplement our daily leafy greens.
âMixing the leafy greens is fine, but don’t squeeze them. The vegetable juice removes the pulp and fiber,â Dr. Bondonno said. The research adds to the growing evidence linking vegetables in general and leafy greens in particular to improved cardiovascular health and muscle strength. This evidence includes two recent ECU studies exploring cruciferous vegetables and blood vessel health and green leafy vegetables and muscle strength.
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Posted on: Thursday May 06, 2021 08:38 IST