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Consumption of leafy green salads improves cardiovascular health post-menopause


In this study, researchers from Arizona State University revealed that eating leafy green salads could potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. They published their findings in the journal Nutrition Research.

  • Postmenopausal women have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than men of the same age or premenopausal women.
  • The loss of estrogen, which promotes vasodilation through nitric oxide, is a potential link.
  • Early studies have supported the use of dietary nitrate supplementation; however, these have all focused on healthy athletes or patient population.
  • Researchers used a controlled crossover trial to determine whether eating a high-nitrate, leafy green salad can improve biomarkers for cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.
  • Ten women participated in the study. They were asked to complete a 10-day leafy green salad treatment or serve as the control. Those in the treatment group completed two treatments separated by a 2–3-week washout.
  • The findings revealed that fasting plasma nitrate/nitrite concentration increased after completing the treatment, and flow-mediated dilation improved.
  • No effects on peripheral or derived central-aortic blood pressure was noted.

In sum, consuming nitrate-rich, leafy green salads can greatly improve cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.

Journal Reference:

Mayra ST, Johnston CS, Sweazea KL. HIGH-NITRATE SALAD INCREASED PLASMA NITRATES/NITRITES AND BRACHIAL ARTERY FLOW-MEDIATED DILATION IN POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN: A PILOT STUDY. Nutrition Research. May 2019;65:99–104. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.02.001



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