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Five Ingredients In Leafy Greens That Battle Heart Disease

The numbers don’t lie. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US. In 2022, Heart disease beat out Cancer and COVID-19 as the leading cause of death in the nation. The CDC reported that just under 700,000 Americans (699,659 in total) died of heart disease.

While genetics and family history play a role in the development and severity of the condition, lifestyle changes like embracing a healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

If you’re ready for a heart-friendly diet, eating more leafy greens is a great place to start. Researchers have linked the vitamins and minerals in leafy greens to improved cardiovascular activity. Here are 5 ingredients, found in leafy greens, that are great for your heart health.  

Vitamin K: 

You likely know that Vitamin A and C are good for you, but this lesser known nutrient has equally positive benefits for your health. 

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is primarily found in leafy green vegetables like kale, parsley, broccoli, and spinach. It plays a crucial role in managing blood clots and may help prevent heart disease. 

A Danish study found that participants with the highest vitamin K intakes were 21% less likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease caused by clogged arteries. Other research has linked Vitamin K to improvements in overall cardiovascular health. 

Vitamins A & C

Leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chards, and collard greens are great sources of both vitamins A and C. 

These essential nutrients boast a number of positive health benefits including improved visual health, immune system support, and increased antioxidants. 

Both nutrients also contribute to heart health and disease prevention in unique ways. Vitamin A boosts immune function and helps maintain healthy organs, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects cells in your heart from damage.

Folate (And other B vitamins) 

The Folate (or Vitamin B9) found in dark leafy greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli can protect the body against heart disease. Folate is a B vitamin that supports a number of bodily processes which boost cardiovascular health. 

Along with other B vitamins, Folate regulates and diminishes the amount of homocysteine (a common amino acid) in your bloodstream. High levels of this amino acid damage blood vessels in your heart and put you at greater risk of heart disease.

Folate also reduces inflammation, controls blood pressure, and prevents birth defects.

Magnesium and Potassium

Both these heart supporting minerals are abundant in leafy greens. In particular, Spinach, Kale, and collard greens are great sources of calcium and magnesium.

Magnesium plays a pivotal role in managing the physiological processes associated with heart health. These include maintaining blood pressure and controlling the heart’s rhythm. 

Potassium supports heart health by improving blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and regulating the heartbeat.

Nitrates

The nitrates found in Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and salad contain numerous benefits for your heart. 

Think of Nitrates as a relaxant for the heart. They relax and widen your arteries which lets in more air. This process improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure - both of which lower the risk of heart disease.

Conclusion 

Consuming the vitamins and minerals in leafy greens is a reliable way to improve your diet and protect yourself from heart-related problems.

You can enjoy these benefits by adding foods like spinach, kale, lettuce, and chards to your diet.

If you’re looking for an easy way to eat more leafy greens, try a tasty FGP Bar. Each bar contains 1.5 servings of freshly sourced greens, including kale, broccoli and spinach.

This proprietary blend gives you the essential vitamins and minerals you need to boost heart health and reduce the risk of disease.

Try it here

Further Reading 

Want to dive deeper into your heart health?

The American Heart Association just reported on a new tool for predicting long-term risks for cardiovascular health. 

The tool looks at health indicators such as heart failure, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases to assist doctors in evaluating a patient's heart.

It’s a fascinating read that offers a glimpse into the future of heart disease diagnosis and prevention. 

Check it out here