Beat Atherosclerosis by Eating Your Vegetables

Lately, there's been a good deal of studies detailing all the great things eating vegetables can do for your health. You can also slow down atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by almost 40 percent merely by eating five vegetables (actually four vegetables and a grain).

Wake Forest University researchers used specially bred mice that rapidly developed atherosclerosis and elevated amounts of LDL cholesterol. Mice were divided into two groups: One that ate no vegetables and the other that was fed 30 percent of their calories from a mixture of broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots and corn.

No surprise, the mice fed the vegetable diet had both 38 percent less plaque and 37 percent less inflammation in their arteries, along with lower body weights, after just 16 weeks. A lone caveat about this study: I wonder how much better the health of those mice would've been had they been fed another vegetable, instead of corn.

Remember, the amount of vegetables we need to eat every day varies depending on a patient's unique nutritional type. All of us need to eat vegetables to stay healthy, but your nutritional type should determine the type and amount.

One way to incorporate vegetables in your diet: Take 15 minutes out of your day to juice them.

Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 136, No. 7, July 2006: 1886-1889

BBC News June 18, 2006

EurekAlert June 17, 2006

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