The six veggies that can help slash heart disease risk by 40%

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

People get roughly 80% of their average nitrate intake from vegetables. ©iStock
People get roughly 80% of their average nitrate intake from vegetables. ©iStock

Related tags: Vegetable

Eating more vegetables could cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 40%, with six vegetables especially beneficial due to their high levels of nitrate, according to a new study.

Nitrate is a compound naturally present in the environment, and is essential for plant growth.

Researchers from the Edith Cowan University's School of Medical and Health Sciences studied the diets of more than 1,000 Western Australian women, focusing on nitrate intake derived from vegetables.

They found that over a 15-year period, the women who had the highest intake of nitrate from vegetables had up to a 40% lower risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.

PhD student Lauren Blekkenhorst said the research was built on her previous study that had collated data from around the world on the measured nitrate concentration in commonly eaten vegetables.

"We found that leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and kale, had the highest amounts of nitrate, followed by radish, beetroot and celery,"​ she said.

"People get roughly 80% of their average nitrate intake from vegetables, so they are the primary source."

One cup is enough

Blekkenhorst said about 75g per day (1 serving) of green leafy vegetables would provide enough nitrate to achieve these health benefits.

"This is about one cup of raw vegetables, which shouldn't be too hard for all of us to eat daily."

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Bondonno added that the bacteria living in our mouths were critical for the cardiovascular health benefits observed.

"The bacteria living on our tongue break down the nitrate that we eat into another compound called nitrite. Nitrite and other breakdown products play a key role in regulating our blood pressure,"​ she revealed.

"This is the underlying mechanism that is resulting in the long-term improvements in heart health."

The study entitled Association of dietary nitrate with atherosclerotic vascular disease mortality: a prospective cohort study of older adult women​ ​was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​, while Association of vegetable nitrate intake with carotid atherosclerosis and ischemic cerebrovascular disease in older women​ ​was recently published in the journal Stroke.

Related news

Related products

show more

Technologies for processing Fruit & Vegetables

Technologies for processing Fruit & Vegetables

John Bean Technologies (JBT) | 07-Mar-2018 | Application Note

JBT is a prime solutions and equipment provider within the fruit and vegetable industry.

From preparation to preservation, conveying and...

Product Recovery (Pigging) for Food Manufacturers

Product Recovery (Pigging) for Food Manufacturers

HPS Product Recovery Solutions | 31-Jan-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Hygienic product recovery ("pigging") is in wide use by food manufacturers that pump liquids or wet products. It gives a high ROI and quick payback.

High Pressure Processing  - HPP

High Pressure Processing - HPP

Accurate filing of high value FMCG in glass jars | 22-Sep-2017 | Technical / White Paper

HPP offers opportunities for product innovation and extended shelf life. HPP is a proven all-natural technique that preserves the vitamins, taste and texture...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more