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The more green there is on your plate, the better your heart health

by , 09 December 2014

Loading your plate with heart healthy foods is one of the best ways to improve your health, reveal experts.

The most recent studies involving ways to improve heart health focus on green leafy vegetables and their impact on the heart.

Researchers have found that one important nutrient in green leafy vegetables can help protect you against a variety of heart disorders.

Read on to discover how to improve your heart health by increasing your intake of leafy greens.

There’s a natural blood thinner in these heart healthy foods

Did you know that foods like kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and dark lettuce contain a blood-thinning nutrient?
That’s right!
Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that the nitrates in these leafy green vegetables act on the production of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). They stop your kidneys from making too much of it.
Now, you might think this is a bad thing, because EPO is the hormone that stimulates your bone marrow to release more blood cells.
But, if you have too many red blood cells, it could make your blood too thick. And this means one thing: Less blood flow.
So, while you have more blood cells with more oxygen carrying capacity, your blood doesn’t flow well. Especially in small blood vessels!
You therefore have a higher risk of clots forming.
That’s why, less EPO is better for your heart health.
Another study, by the same researchers, found how important these heart healthy foods really are.
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Lower your risk of stroke and other heart disorders with leafy green vegetables

Researchers wanted to see what these heart healthy foods did to EPO production at high altitudes.
This because the higher you go, the less oxygen the air contains and the more red blood cells your body makes to mop up every bit of oxygen in the air.
But this can also increase your risk of stroke and heart disorders because your blood becomes thick and sticky.
When researchers exposed mice to higher altitudes, their blood thickened. But when they fed some of the mice the equivalent of nitrates in green leafy vegetables it ensured their blood flowing capacity remained normal.
But this time, it wasn’t the effect on EPO that researchers saw. Instead, because the mice were at higher altitudes and they might die if they didn’t have enough oxygen, the nitrates did something smarter.
They increases the diameter of blood vessels so their carrying capacity increased and the blood flowed normally even with more cells.
The researcher didn’t stop there!
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Even your body’s fat storing ability changes when you eat these heart healthy foods

Obesity is a huge problem, but eating green leafy vegetables may be the answer to stopping the epidemic in its tracks.
As you know, your body uses brown fat for energy and to raise your metabolism. But you don’t have much brown fat when you’re obese; it’s all white fat!
But another group of researchers from the University of Cambridge found eating green leafy vegetables ”browns” your white fat, turning it into the “good” type of fat!
And because your metabolism speeds up, it lowers your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Reducing both of these risks is an instantaneous way to improve your heart health!
So, can you afford not to fill your plate with these heart healthy foods? 

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