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Home Home Wellness News Veggies a Healthy Recipe for Older Women's Hearts
Veggies a Healthy Recipe for Older Women's Hearts
Wellness - Latest Wellness News
Jupiter, FL Dentist

WEDNESDAY, April, 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Eating lots of vegetables may help older women keep their blood vessels healthy, Australian researchers report.

The biggest benefit seems to come from cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Eating these strong-smelling veggies was linked to less thickening of the carotid arteries, located in the neck.

Thickening of this major blood vessels is a sign of impending heart disease, the researchers said.

"These findings reinforce the importance of adequate vegetable intake to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis ["hardening of the arteries"], heart attacks and strokes," said lead researcher Lauren Blekkenhorst. She's a research associate in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia.

"Recommendations to include a couple of servings of cruciferous vegetables may optimize the health benefits of increasing vegetables in the diet," Blekkenhorst said.

She added, however, that this study doesn't prove a lack of vegetables caused carotid artery walls to thicken, only that there was an association between the two.

Veggies are good for you, Blekkenhorst said, because they're high in fiber, so you feel full without consuming many calories.

"They are also packed full of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress," Blekkenhorst said. Chronic inflammation plays a part in a number of age-related illnesses, including heart disease, she added.

Best of all, the benefits of vegetables exist whether you cook them or eat them raw, Blekkenhorst said. Though cooking reduces some nutrients, eating cooked vegetables aids digestion and absorption of these nutrients, she said.

The benefits found in the study were limited to vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, Blekkenhorst said. Other veggies did not show the same protective link.

She said the value of cruciferous veggies remained even after her team took into account a woman's lifestyle, heart disease risk, and other vegetable and dietary factors.

Blekkenhorst said it's important to eat both raw and cooked vegetables throughout the day.

Any way you prepare them, you'll do your body good, according to a nutritionist not involved with the study.

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