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Eat nitrate-rich veggies to protect your heart

Reviewed by our expert panel
Woman drinking a green kale smoothie

Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, but eating just one cup of raw leafy greens or beetroot every day could be one more way to protect your ticker.

A study of data from more than 50,000 participants over a 23-year period found those who regularly ate higher quantities of vegetables rich in nitrates (spinach, kale, silverbeet, rocket, cabbage and beetroot) had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t, and were less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease later on.

If you’re not keen on salads, another way to incorporate leafy greens into your diet is by blending them into fruit smoothies. Your heart will love you for it!

The study was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

First published: Sep 2021

Article sources and references

  • Bondonno CP, Dalgaard F, Blekkenhorst LC, Murray K, Lewis JR, Croft KD, Kyrø C, Torp-Pedersen C, Gislason G, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Bondonno NP, Hodgson JM. Vegetable nitrate intake, blood pressure and incident cardiovascular disease: Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study. Eur J Epidemiol. 2021 Aug;36(8):813-825. doi: 10.1007/s10654-021-00747-3. Epub 2021 Apr 21. PMID: 33884541.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33884541/

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