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The #1 Best Vegetable for Heart Disease, Says Science

Vegetables are always important, but this one in particular can do wonders for your heart.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

You may be able to heal a broken heart with time, but caring for the health of your heart may require more. And if you're trying to heal or prevent something like heart disease, the solution becomes even more complex.

Factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, poor diet, lack of exercise, genetics, age, and high cholesterol all contribute to a greater risk of heart disease, an issue that affects over 30 million Americans every year. And as you can see, many of these risk factors are related to nutrition and eating habits.

So how can you eat in a way that helps you care for the health of your heart? While there are many healthy heart foods, a good place to start is getting enough fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

You can't go wrong with eating any type of fruit or vegetable when it comes to your heart health, but according to a meta-analysis published in JRSM Cardiovascular Disease, one of the best vegetables for your heart are leafy greens like kale or spinach.

The goal of this analysis was to take relevant studies from across the globe to determine whether or not leafy green and cruciferous veggies could help in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases.

bowl of kale

According to the analysis, many people all over the world are harming their health by not getting enough green vegetables on a regular basis.

These veggies come packed with fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. Spinach is specifically high in vitamin A, K, C, iron, and folate, and kale is high in vitamin B, C, and calcium.

Research has concluded time and time again that leafy greens are beneficial to many areas of your health, and this recent analysis confirmed that its benefits are good for your heart, too.

To learn more about its heart health benefits, the researchers looked at 13 separate studies that investigated the relationship between leafy greens and various cardiovascular events such as incidents of stroke, cerebrovascular heart disease, and coronary heart disease.

What they found was that consuming more leafy greens on a regular basis can reduce your risk of these cardiovascular events by almost 16%. 

This research also concluded that while leafy green vegetables are good for your heart, you can get the most from their nutritional value when you steam them.

So what does this research mean for you and your heart health? These findings can serve as motivation for all of us to incorporate more leafy greens into our regular diets, regardless of our current heart health. And if you're someone who may be at a higher risk of heart disease or may be concerned about the health of your heart, talk with your doctor about the next right steps for you and your eating habits!

For more healthy eating tips, check out Eating Habits to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha