Eat your veggies, love your heart: carotenes to the rescue

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Our heart is like a very busy engine that never stops. It keeps pumping blood to all parts of our body.

But sometimes, bad stuff like fat can get stuck in the pipes (arteries) that take the blood around. Doctors call this atherosclerosis, and it’s pretty bad news.

Imagine a pipe that gets blocked by sticky stuff. Water can’t flow well, right? The same thing happens in our bodies. Blood can’t move properly.

If the blockage happens near the heart or brain, it can cause serious problems, like a heart attack or stroke. So, it’s essential to keep these pipes clean!

The Heroes of Our Story: Carotenes

Now, how do we keep our pipes clean? Well, one way is to fill our plates with colorful veggies and fruits! These are full of good stuff called carotenes.

You’ll find them in foods that are yellow, orange, and green. Think carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, mangoes, and so on.

The more carotenes we have in our blood, the less bad stuff blocks our arteries. That means our blood flows smoothly, and our hearts stay happy.

But hold on, don’t run to the store to buy carotene pills just yet. It seems they might not help as much as eating actual fruits and veggies.

What’s The Science Saying?

A team of really smart scientists from IDIBAPS and UOC recently studied 200 people. They checked how many carotenes were in their blood.

They also used an ultrasound machine (just like the ones used for baby pictures in a mommy’s belly) to see if there were blockages in the carotid artery. This artery is a large pipe that supplies blood to our brain.

Guess what they found? People who had more carotenes in their blood had fewer blockages, especially women. So, it seems that munching on fruits and veggies can help keep our arteries clean and hearts happy!

So, What’s The Big Idea?

If you want to take care of your heart, start by taking a look at your plate. A colorful salad might just be the ticket to a healthy heart. And it’s not just about salads – add veggies and fruits to your meals in creative ways.

How about carrot sticks with hummus, a juicy mango for dessert, or a hearty broccoli soup? The more you eat, the more your heart will thank you!

So there you have it, folks. If you want a clean pipe and a happy heart, “Eat your veggies, love your heart: Carotenes to the rescue!”

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease and calcium supplements could harm your heart health.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that artificial sweeteners in food are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, and results showing people who have the lowest heart disease and stroke risks.

The study was published in Clinical Nutrition.

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