No matter how much your mom has nagged about eating your veggies, well she wasn’t lying! Veggies still rank as top ONE! A new study released by the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that people with high blood levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene, found in lots a variety of vegetables, were less likely to die during a 14 year longitudinal study (cohort) study compared to people with low levels of carotenoids.
Based on the study, a major factor causing chronic illnesses like cancers and heart problems may be related to high amounts of free radical oxygen that damage your DNA, protein and fat cells. Now it’s important that you know that free radicals’ production is totally normal in your body but the damage they cause can be alleviated by antioxidants’ action, hence carotenoids such as beta carotene, alpha carotene and lycopene. These nutrients are mostly loaded in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
What researchers did in this study was monitor alpha-carotene levels in the blood of 15,318 adults, age 20 or older, who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study between 1988 and 1994. In 2006, researchers surveyed how many of their sample had died and from what cause. They found that 3,810 had died, and that people with the highest levels of alpha-carotene in the blood were significantly less likely to die than those with lowest levels. In addition they found that a lower risk of cancer and heart disease in people with high levels of alpha-carotene.
So yes, yes having that extra bowl of salad every day in your plate will sure help in elongating your healthy life and in lowering heart and chronic illnesses risks.
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