3 Great Vegetables for a Healthy Heart

Juicing vegetables is a superb way to get heart healthy nutrients. Which vegetables are best for fighting heart disease? Researchers has shown these 3 vegetables have wonderful benefits for your heart and arteries:

Spinach contains vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene). These are two important antioxidants that disarm free radicals that can attack artery walls. Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient and beta-carotene is fat soluble. Together they provide a powerful combination that can prevent cholesterol from oxidation. When oxidized, cholesterol becomes sticky and can attach itself to artery walls, leading to blocked arteries. This can cause heart attacks and strokes. Spinach also contains potassium and magnesium. These two minerals are essential for the proper regulation of the heart muscle. Therefore, potassium and magnesium can lower blood pressure.

Spinach also contains the nutrient folic acid (folate). Folic acid is needed to lower the blood levels of a chemical called homocysteine. High blood levels of homocysteine is a powerful factor for the development of heart disease. If the homocysteine levels in the blood increase too much, it can cause heart desease. Folic Acid’s job is to change homocysteine into harmless molecules.

Further more, spinach contains something called peptides which are components of proteins. In a study by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry animals where given 20 – 30 mg of the peptides per kilogram of body weight per day. This actually lowered their blood pressure in as a little as two to four hours after consumption. So it is very possible it would have the same effect for us.

Juicer recipes idea: You will need a good amount of spinach to get enough juice. I recommend four to five cups or even more. You can also add an apple to sweeten the juice. Spinach juice alone isn’t very palatable and apple also has heart healthy benefits.

Broccoli contains good amounts of the cardio-protective vitamin C and vitamin A (see spinach above for benefits). Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a phytochemical that can protect the heart. It appears that sulforaphane “tells the body” to release a protein called thioredoxin. According to researchers at the University of Connecticut, thioredoxin protects the heart from cell damage.

Juicer recipes idea: Juice the florets and the stalks to get maximun nutrition benefits. Also the stalk contains more juice than the florets.

Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable? Well it is heart healthy enough to make it to this list, so I will leave the answer at that. Tomatoes contain a plant chemical called lycopene which is responsible for its vibrant red color. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which protects the tomato from the harmful effects of heat and light from the sun. Lycopene is equally powerful at protecting our arteries from cellular damage. In a recent study from Harvard women taking lycopene were 50% less likely to develop heart disease over a five year period. Furthermore, lycopene is considered to have beneficial effects on blood pressure.

Juicer recipes idea: You can use the left over pulp from your tomato juice to make soups or salsa.

Have fun with your juicer recipes and stay healthy!

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