Your mother always told you to eat your veggies when you were younger. As it turns out, she was onto something: According to new Australian research, eating lots of vegetables can help older women keep their blood vessels healthy.
The study found that the greatest benefit came from cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. It linked these strong-smelling veggies to less thickening of the carotid arteries, located in your neck. Keep reading to learn more.
Thickening of the carotid arteries is a sign of impending carotid artery disease
Carotid artery disease is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside your carotid arteries. There are two main types of carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. These arteries divide into internal and external carotid arteries.
The internal carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain, while the external ones supply blood to your face, scalp, and neck.
Thickening of the carotid arteries as well as plaque build-up in these arteries are indicators of impending carotid artery disease. People who have carotid artery disease also have a higher risk for coronary artery disease.
For over 20 years, the health profession has been flat out wrong!
Discover the real secret behind 'The French Paradox'
And why you too could eat fine cheese, tasty fillet and enjoy perfect Merlot every day
The French are renowned for their high fat diet.
From buttery croissants and double-thick cream to duck fat, liver paté, decadent sauces and soft, oozy Camembert. Not a meal goes by where they don’t indulge foods rich in heart-clogging fat.
But here’s the surprising thing:
Their hearts are amazingly healthy!
In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, the average South African is three times more likely to suffer from heart problems than the French.
Even more surprising, their heart health stats are the third lowest in the world – just behind Korea and Japan.
How do they do it?
Find out here, PLUS, how you can trim down by enjoying your food...
Australian study links eating veggies to lower risk of carotid artery disease in older women
To reach their findings, the study team looked at nearly 1,000 women aged 70 and up. The women filled out questionnaires about how often they ate vegetables, with responses ranging from never to three or more times a day. Types of vegetables included cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, beans and yellow, orange or red vegetables.
Using sonograms, the tam measured the thickness of each woman’s carotid arteries and the amount of plaque they contained. They found that the artery walls of women who ate the most vegetables were about 0.05 mm thinner than those who ate the least.
Lead researcher Lauren Blekkenhorst said the difference might be significant because a 0.1 mm decrease in carotid wall thickness was linked to a 10% to 18% lower risk of stroke and heart attack. Blekkenhorst is a research associate in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia.
On average, each additional 15 g of vegetables in a day was tied to a nearly 1% thinner carotid artery wall. Cruciferous vegetables appeared to offer the biggest benefits.
The team published their full findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association
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