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6 Green Veggies That Help Your Heart

Yumhee Park Dec 11th, 2014 (updated Feb 12th, 2016)
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According to new studies, making green the color of choice on your plate during meals may be beneficial to your overall health. These studies have found that the nitrates in green vegetables significantly help the heart. Try adding the following green veggies as staples to your diet to keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes.

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Spinach
Spinach

There’s a reason spinach was Popeye’s veggie of choice. It is rich in iron, folic acid and many vitamins, as well as a great source of nitrate. Try making it your staple salad base or sauté it with some olive oil and add it to your pasta.  

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Lettuce
Lettuce

There are many varieties of lettuce to choose from, and all have their fair share of nitrates. A great Asian recipe for lettuce involves cooking it in chicken broth, letting the broth simmer away and adding a sprinkling of low-sodium bacon. This dish serves as a great accompaniment with brown rice.

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Celery
Celery

Celery is nature’s potato chip. Full of fiber with a satisfying crunch, it's a great go-to snack. Try adding a little bit of almond butter in the crease and dotting it with raisins for a twist on the traditional "ants on a log" recipe. 

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Green beans
Green beans

This versatile vegetable is full of vitamins that help the eyes, bones and skin, as well as nitrates that help the heart. Easy side dish recipes for green beans include sautéing, steaming or grilling with just a little bit of seasoning. They’re a great veggie with which to get creative.

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Parsley
Parsley

Parsley has been found to have anti-cancer properties as well as the ability to prevent diabetes and improve bone health. These little sprigs can enhance flavors of dishes without adding sodium, so they’re a great staple to have on hand to for your lean meat dishes.

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Collard greens
Collard greens

Collard greens serve as a powerhouse vegetable; increased intake decreases disease risks such as diabetes and heart conditions. Try making collard green chips by seasoning with lemon and a sprinkling of salt, pepper, or another spice of your choice, and sticking in the oven for a quick and healthy snack.