Green vegetables boost heart health
Three new studies have found that the chemical nitrate is what makes green vegetables boost your heart health and help prevent conditions like diabetes and obesity.
In the first study, scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton in the U.K. determined that eating nitrate-rich vegetables caused the body to reduce promotion of the hormone erythropoietin, which regulates red blood cell count in the body. The findings, published in The FASEB Journal, suggest that eating nitrate-rich vegetables could lower blood thickness, and that can help reduce risk of stroke or heart attack.
The second bit of research was an animal study in which scientists increased blood cell count in rats by exposing them to high altitudes. When the rats were fed a diet with nitrate, researchers found that they were better protected against heart and circulatory conditions than were rats that were not fed any nitrate. The findings, published in The Journal of Physiology, also showed that nitrate may help improve blood flow and protect heart cells.
In the third study, scientists demonstrated that nitrate also possesses the ability to convert harmful white fat cells into beige fat cells. These beige cells, researchers said, are similar to brown fat cells, which have been linked to reduced risk of obesity and diabetes.
The cumulative findings of these studies make a strong case that adding nitrate into a person's diet--particularly in the form of green vegetables--could help protect against an array of conditions.