It’s week four: the final week of National Heart Health Month. This week’s tip is about how to work those dark leafy greens into your diet. I’m talking about leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and rocket, which are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary nitrates.
Dietary Nitrates in Leafy Greens
Dietary nitrates are recognised for their positive effects on vascular health, particularly reducing blood pressure. A recent study found that eating one cup of leafy greens daily can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research has proved that regular consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables can lower the chances of heart-attack, stroke, and heart failure.
drinking dietary nitrates
The way I get these essential nutrients into my daily diet is in the form of a drink. Smoothies are a quick and easy way of getting all that goodness into your body. They’re easy to carry around and can be used as breakfast, lunch, or a snack when you’re on the go. I combine frozen spinach, blueberries, and kale with some protein powder, nuts, and whatever else I feel like using. This makes a delicious-tasting smoothie that is also rich in dietary nitrates.
If you would like my smoothie recipe, connect with us on social media and I’d be happy to share it with you.
The best way to get the most out of your leafy greens is to eat them uncooked. Therefore, salads are also a great idea. Now, I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you how to make a salad, but I do want to encourage you to include more of these vegetables in your diet.
Four Small Changes that make a big difference
So, in summary, we’ve talked about breathwork, being out in nature, avoiding social isolation, and getting dietary nitrates into your diet: four ways to boost heart health as part of a daily routine. It doesn’t just stop at heart health either, these small changes can also have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing, helping you to live a happier, healthier, and longer life.
You may enjoy my TEDx talk on why fitness if more important than fatness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SLP1BF7KBQ
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