Vegetables Rate by Nitrate

Vegetables Rate by Nitrate
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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)?

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“Therefore,” the researchers conclude, “we advocate consumption of a diet high in nitrate (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 carrots, beets, potatoes); or stem vegetables (like asparagus and celery)?

Well, 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 #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 (also known as rocket lettuce). Now, beet juice would actually be here, but we always want to choose whole foods to maximize the nutrition. As you can see, there was actually one stem vegetable, and it came in #2, even—rhubarb! But eight 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—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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Evan-Amos, Benjah-bmm27, Quadell, Sanjay Acharya, Bjankuloski06en, ZooFari, and Whut via Wikimedia Commons, Cory Doctorow / Flickr, and Raw Candy.

“Therefore,” the researchers conclude, “we advocate consumption of a diet high in nitrate (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 carrots, beets, potatoes); or stem vegetables (like asparagus and celery)?

Well, 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 #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 (also known as rocket lettuce). Now, beet juice would actually be here, but we always want to choose whole foods to maximize the nutrition. As you can see, there was actually one stem vegetable, and it came in #2, even—rhubarb! But eight 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—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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Evan-Amos, Benjah-bmm27, Quadell, Sanjay Acharya, Bjankuloski06en, ZooFari, and Whut via Wikimedia Commons, Cory Doctorow / Flickr, and Raw Candy.

Nota del Doctor

The reference to protection from heart disease is explained in Hearts Shouldn’t Skip a Beet, and beet-boosting athletics in Doping With Beet Juice, and continues with Priming the Proton Pump, and subsequent videos in this three-week video series. Another way that greens, The Healthiest Veggies, may protect heart health is explained in Boosting Heart Nerve Control

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance, and Which Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

For all our videos on the latest research on vegetables, visit our Vegetables topic page.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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    1. Hola Verónica, ten en cuenta que la AECOSAN se refiere a niños de entre 1-3 años. A esa edad, el alimento principal por excelencia debería ser la leche materna. El problema, es que en la sociedad actual destetamos a los niños mucho antes de lo que deberíamos y por ese motivo, al introducir alimentos, hay que tener cuidado con cuáles y en qué cantidades. Ya sean espinacas por su alto contenido en nitratos o frutos secos por riesgo de alergias etc. Por otro lado, recalco la propia afirmación por parte de la AECOSAN: “Conviene recordar que cuando se comparan los riesgos/beneficios de la exposición de nitratos por el consumo de hortalizas prevalecen los efectos beneficiosos reconocidos por su consumo. ” Espero haberte ayudado :)

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