One serving of vegetables a day reduces the risk of heart disease



New research from Edith Cowan University (Australia) has found that just eating one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables a day can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

The study, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, investigated whether people who regularly ate higher amounts of nitrate-rich vegetables, such as green leafy vegetables and beets, had lower blood pressure, and also examined whether these same people were less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease many years later.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, claiming about 17.9 million lives a year. The researchers examined data from more than 50,000 Danish residents who participated in the Danish Study on Diet, Cancer and Health over a 23-year period.

They found that people who ate the most nitrate-rich vegetables had 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and a 12 to 26 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Catherine Bondonno, from the Edith Cowan University Institute for Nutritional Research, explains that identifying diets to prevent heart disease is a priority.

“Our results have shown that by just eating one cup of raw (or half a cup of cooked) nitrate-rich vegetables each day, people may be able to significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Bondonno.

The greatest reduction in risk corresponded to peripheral artery disease (26%), a type of heart disease characterized by narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs; however, they also found that people had a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.


The study revealed that the optimal amount of nitrate-rich vegetables was one cup a day, and that eating more than that did not appear to bring any additional benefit.

“People do not need to take supplements to increase their nitrate levels, because the study showed that one cup of green leafy vegetables a day is enough to benefit from heart disease. We did not see more benefits in people who ate higher levels. high in nitrate-rich vegetables, “notes Bondonno.


The expert notes that some tricks, such as including a cup of spinach in a banana or berry smoothie, could be an easy way to complete our daily consumption of green leafy vegetables. “Blending leafy greens is fine, but don’t juice them. Vegetable juices remove pulp and fiber,” he says.

Thus, this research adds to the growing evidence linking vegetables in general and leafy greens in particular to improving cardiovascular health and muscle strength. This evidence includes two recent studies exploring cruciferous vegetables and blood vessel health and leafy greens and muscle strength.

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