Nitrates are found in vegetables like spinach, arugula, and beets. Consumption of these green leafy vegetables can help in bringing down blood pressure as well as boosting the efficiency of the endothelial cells, which line the inside of the blood vessels and the heart. An Australian study, which was written in an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that nitrate-rich veggies can reduce the mortality risk from atherosclerosis-related diseases.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia led the long-term study about the link between the deaths related to atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASDV) and the nitrates we get from consuming vegetables.
They recruited 1,226 Australian women to participate in their research which began in 1998. The participants ranged from 70-85 years old and did not have either ASVD and/or diabetes. They would be monitored for 15 years.
The demographic and ASVD risk factors during 1998 were taken as the baseline for the study. A validated food-frequency questionnaire that determined the types and amount of food consumed by the participants were used.
Moreover, a highly detailed database was also used to estimate the nitrate intake of the participants based on their vegetable intake.
Higher Vegetable Intake Protects Against Mortality Risks
For more than 15 years during the trial period, researchers track death reports among the participants which stemmed from an atherosclerotic vascular disease. The Western Australian Data Linkage provided linked data that confirmed whether or not the participant died due to ASVD-related causes.
After this, they analyzed any link between mortality risks from ASVD and nitrate intake. They did this twice. It was during the second analysis that they factored in the participants’ lifestyles and any risk factors for cardiovascular disease that increased the chances of ASVD-related deaths.
Researchers reported that 238 participants died due to ASVD or related causes in the follow-up period – which totaled 15,947 person-years. That translated to 19.4 percent of the group.
The participants’ vegetable nitrate intake ranged from a low of 47.8 milligrams per day to a high of 96.2 mg/day. A reduced risk of ASVD mortality for both pre-adjusted and multi-variable adjusted analysis was connected in each SD higher intake.
Aside from reducing the risk of atherosclerosis disease, an increased vegetable nitrate consumption also reduces the risk of dying from other health diseases.
According to the findings, the researchers concluded that vegetables rich in nitrates improves the performance of the cardiovascular system. They said that consuming foods like these can protect older people from atherosclerotic vascular disease and other ailments.
Protect Your Heart By Eating Plenty Of Green Leafy Vegetables
Nitrates are absorbed by plants from the ground and stores them for future use, making it one of the important nutrients used by plants. Most of the sources of nitrates we intake come from vegetables, but there are also artificial nitrates that are used to preserve food.
Examples of nitrate-rich foods are green leafy vegetables. Arugula is considered as one of the best natural source of this nutrient, followed by spinach and beets. These three vegetables not only it gives you sufficient amounts of nutritional benefits but also protects your heart.
Arugula boosts the immune system that protects and defends us from disorders such as heart problems. Beets, on the other hand, reduces the risk of stroke, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases while spinach is a superfood that can manage hypertension by regulating blood pressure.