If nitrates can boost athletic performance and protect against heart disease, which vegetables have the most: beans, bulb vegetables (like garlic and onions), fruiting vegetables (like eggplant and squash), greens (such as arugula), mushrooms, root vegetables (such as carrots and beets), or stem vegetables (such as celery and rhubarb)?
Therefore, the researchers conclude, we advocate consumption of a diet high in nitrate (i.e., a natural strategy) to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), (pre-) hypertension and to protect individuals at risk of adverse vascular events like heart attacks. So, if you want to try this at home, either to boost your athletic performance, or protect yourself from cardiovascular disease, which foods are the best sources?
What do you think? Is it beans, bulb vegetables, like garlic and onions? Fruiting vegetables like eggplant, squash, tomatoes, green leafies, mushrooms, root vegetables, like the carrots, beets, potatoes, or stem vegetables, like asparagus and celery.
In milligrams per 100 gram serving, Greens win the day!
Here are the top ten widely available sources, and with all this talk about beet juice you’d think beets might be number 1, but they just barely made the top ten list. Swiss chard has more; next comes oak leaf lettuce; then beet greens; basil; spring greens, like mesclun mix; butter leaf lettuce; cilantro; rhubarb; and arugula. Now beet juice would actually be here, but we always want to choose whole foods to maximize the nutrition.There was actually one stem vegetable, and it came in number 2—rhubarb! But 8 out of the top ten are green leafies, with the winner by a large margin being arugula! 18 times more nitrate than kale! I may have a new favorite vegetable.
Ten years ago, a pair of twin Harvard studies found the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease. The most powerful protector was - green leafy vegetables. And now, perhaps, we know why.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.
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The reference to protection from heart disease is explained in yesterday’s video and beet-boosting athletics in Doping With Beet Juice and continuing with Priming the Proton Pump and subsequent videos in this 3-week video series. Another way that greens, The Healthiest Veggies, may protect heart health is explained in Boosting Heart Nerve Control. There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects if you can't wait until tomorrow for your NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day fix.