Veggies Proven to Help Your Heart

hh-article-2.jpgYou’ll keep your heart healthy if you listen to your mom when she says, ‘Eat your veggies!’

According to the latest research from the London School of Medicine, published by the medical journal Hypertension, scientists have finally proven what our mothers always told us, ‘Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you!’

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia of the William Harvey Research Institute found a compound in beet juice and green leafy vegetables that can quickly lower blood pressure (BP), with benefit that is sustained for up to twenty-four hours after ingestion.

In the past, it was assumed that the positive effects of vegetables was related to the high levels of anti-oxidants they generally contain, but this study found that it is actually the dietary nitrates that account for most of the lowering of blood pressure in participants, whether or not they were hypertensive (had high BP). Dietary nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the highly acid medium of gastric juices in the stomach. Researchers confirmed that the greatest reductions in blood pressure directly correlated with the highest levels of nitrites in the circulation in the hours following the digestion of beet juice.

It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population suffers from hypertension. Some experts claim that number may climb to between 28-30% within fifteen years, if current trends continue. Hypertension adversely affects heart health because it is one of the primary causes of nearly half of all coronary heart disease. It is also implicated as a factor in three out of four cases of stroke (blood clots or bleeding in the brain).

If something as simple and as readily available as dietary nitrates found in beet juice and green leafy vegetables can significantly lower blood pressure, the increased consumption of these foods could potentially reduce the rates of cardio-vascular disease and the incidence of strokes. Combined with their added benefit of being rich in vitamins, minerals and cancer fighting anti-oxidants, such vegetables could prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths annually. With minimal cost and no drug-related side effects.

It makes sense to increase your vegetable consumption. But, when you don’t get enough fresh vegetables (6-8 servings a day), it’s important to supplement your diet with what you’re missing: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B complex and omega-3 fats. Give your body the nutrients Mother Nature intended for your natural health. Instead of waiting for your heart health to decline, this simple advice can prevent a host of common health problems and extend millions of lives.

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