Heart health and metabolic health go hand in hand. Balanced blood sugar is essential to heart health as it helps to maintain healthy triglyceride levels and reduce damage to nerves and blood vessels—and that’s why the newest term is “cardiometabolic” health.
Vegetables are an important source of magnesium, which is involved in hundreds of reactions in the body. Not having enough magnesium is not only unhealthy for plants, but it’s also unhealthy for people and is, unfortunately, becoming more common due to soil depletion, food processing, and the use of medications (like proton pump inhibitors and diuretics).
Magnesium is required to form glutathione in the human body, which is often called the “master antioxidant” because it is found in almost every cell in the body, helping to protect against damage. Magnesium, calcium, and potassium also play really important roles in helping to maintain a normal heart rhythm, and in nerve and muscle function. Low magnesium levels have been associated with glucose intolerance and diabetes and can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
The Many Heart-Healthy Benefits of Vegetables
Studies show that higher intakes of leafy greens are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Greens are a great source of magnesium, vitamin K, folate, and nitrates. Another great source of heart-healthy nitrates (which are converted to nitric oxide in the body) is beets and beet greens. Studies show nitric oxide may help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
When crushed or chopped ten minutes prior to cooking, garlic contains allicin, which studies show helps to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Levels of the important antioxidant CoQ10 often decrease with age. Vegetables such as broccoli sprouts are a good source of CoQ10, which may help to reduce blood pressure and help those with congestive heart failure. Broccoli sprouts also may help lower cholesterol.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to cardiovascular health. Our favorite plant-based source of alpha-linoleic acid is purslane—often called the “salmon of the plant world!”
Learn More About Heart Health
Here’s even more information about a heart healthy diet:
- Heart Healthy Foods
- Enjoying Heart Healthy Foods—Flavorful, Too
- Heart Health Box of Farm-Fresh Vegetables
- Heart Healthy Signature Blend
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The Farmer as Part of the Healthcare Team
Our goal with Farmacy at the Chef’s Garden is for the farmer to become part of the healthcare team, providing you with the most nutrient-dense, flavorful, deeply nourishing foods possible to help support your health and wellness. We are putting “food as medicine” into practice, making it easy to quickly select vegetables to support your needs through our Health and Wellness Collection pages. We hope you will try our regeneratively farmed, harvested to order, farm-fresh vegetables shipped right to your doorstep and we would love for you to join our Farmacy at the Chef’s Garden family on Facebook!