Leafy green vegetables might be the key to avoiding nasty blood clots, heart attacks and strokes according to a recent British study.


The Cambridge University research, funded by the British Heart foundation, has found nitrate contained in leafy greens, such as spinach, lettuce and celery, has been shown to widen blood vessels, while also turning white fat cells into brown calorie-burning fat cells that may combat Type 2 diabetes.  


“The industry is delighted by these findings which further confirm the benefits of a vegetable-rich diet, and we hope to see consumers taking advantage of this knowledge when planning future meals,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Tamara Ungar.


“AUSVEG has continuously promoted the value of a vegetable rich diet, and is pleased to see this study further justifying our repeated calls for Australians to increase their vegetable consumption.”


“We know that vegetables are good for us but, on an increasingly regular basis, we are being presented with new information that further confirms how high levels of vegetable consumption can improve our health.”


“Not only are Australian vegetables the best and highest quality in the world, but they taste great, and are healthy to boot. We hope the results of this study encourage people to eat more Australian vegetables, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas”


AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.


According to the study nitrate, from the leafy greens can help regulate the delivery of oxygen to cells and tissues.


Study Author Dr Andrew Murray said this ensures cells and tissues in the body have enough oxygen to function without needing to over produce red blood cells, which can make the blood too thick and compromise health.


Co-author Professor Martin Feelisch, from the University of Southampton, said the findings might have broader implications in sport science and aiding the recovery of patients in intensive care.


The study has suggested simple dietary changes, such as eating more spinach, may help improve overall health, and could potentially aid in sport recovery once more is understood about how oxygen is delivered to cells.


“In recent years we have seen rising obesity and chronic health conditions associated with poor diets, exacerbated by a lack of exercise by many in the population, and this is having a huge impact on overall health and wellbeing within Australian society,” said Ms Ungar.

“What this study reinforces is just how important a vegetable rich diet is in improving the health of millions of Australians.” 


MEDIA CONTACT:  Tamara Ungar, Senior Communications Officer, AUSVEG, Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0400 980 480 E-mail: tamara.ungar@ausveg.com.au