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Eating leafy green vegetables daily can reduce your risk of heart disease: Research

*Experts say consumers have several health benefits linked to eating at least a cup of leafy green vegetables per day

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

A fresh study conducted by researchers from Edith Cowan University explored the health benefits associated with consumers’ eating leafy green vegetables.

The study findings noted it doesn’t take a tonne of these vegetables for consumers to boost their heart health; eating just a cup of leafy greens each day can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure.

Researcher Dr. Catherine Bondonno said: “Our results have shown that by simply 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.

“The greatest reduction in risk was for peripheral artery disease (26 percent), a type of heart disease characterised by the narrowing of blood vessels of the legs.

“However, we also found people had a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.”

In ascertaining consistency with healthy foods in the study, the researchers analysed data from over 53,000 participants enrolled in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study.

Participants have been enrolled in the study for more than two decades and have consistently reported on their diets and medical histories throughout that time.

According to the researchers, the results were clear: consistently consuming leafy greens yielded better heart health outcomes.

Participants who ate a cup of raw, nitrate-rich vegetables per day lowered their risk of heart disease by as much as 26%.

This healthier diet was also linked with lower systolic blood pressure.

For consumers who like to get creative with their vegetable consumption, the team discovered that blending leafy greens into smoothies can yield similar heart health benefits; however, they explained that the juicing process can strip the vegetables of their nutrients.

They stressed it is important to note that surpassing a cup of raw vegetables or a half cup of cooked vegetables did not lead to greater health benefits.

Because of this, the researchers don’t recommend that consumers load up on leafy greens or try to add in vitamins or supplements.

Instead, to get the most out of your vegetable intake, they say staying within that one-cup range is the most effective option.

Dr. Bondonno stated: “People don’t need to be taking supplements to boost their nitrate levels because the study showed that one cup of leafy green vegetables each day is enough to reap the benefits for heart disease.

“We did not see further benefits in people who ate higher levels of nitrate-rich vegetables.”

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